When we think of mosquitoes usually the first image to pop in our head is a creature that is close to the size of a helicopter with the eating style of a blood hungry vampire. There just isn’t much good we can say about mosquitoes. They can ruin a perfect afternoon picnic, barbecue, neighborhood walk, outdoor concert, or even a quiet nap in the hammock. There are things you can do to lessen the chances of being drained of all life forces. Maybe wear full body net, soak yourself and clothes in citronella. Since mosquitoes don’t like to fly against a breeze you could put massive oscillating fans in the middle of your yard and crank them up wide open. You could set bonfires all around the yard and smoke them out. (We’re just kidding guys)
Dangers Caused by Mosquitoes
Lets get serious for a moment. There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide. Mosquitoes act as vectors, or carriers of viruses and parasitic diseases such as Malaria, Encephalitis, Filariasis, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, and more recently in the news the Zika Virus. Some of these can cause serious illness to birth defects or even death. Over 725,000 deaths a year are contributed to mosquitoes worldwide.
Mosquitoes also pose a serious health risk to pets. Microscopic baby heartworms, called microfilaria are picked up by mosquitoes feeding on animals already infected by heartworm disease. The microfilaria will mature into “infective stage larvae”, inside the mosquito. When the mosquito feeds on a dog, cat or other susceptible animal, the infected larvae are deposited on the animals skin. The infected larvae then enter the new host through the mosquitoes bite wound. After about 6 months infected larvae will reach maturity. The now adult heartworm can live between 5 and 7 years in dogs and 2 to 3 years in cats.
Dogs left untreated can have hundreds of foot long adult heartworms. Heartworm disease damages the heart, lungs and arteries even after the heartworm parasite has been eliminated. The earlier heartworm disease is caught, the better chance your pet will have at a normal life. If you live in a region with heavy mosquitoes check with your vet for the best prevention method. Prevention is the best option when it comes to heartworm disease.
Heartworm disease in cats is much different than in dogs. Most heartworms will not reach the adult stage in cats. Many cats with heartworm disease will go unnoticed. Even thought adult heartworms in cats are rare, heartworms still cause a condition called “HARD” or Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease. Heartworm medicine for dogs is not effective for cats. Prevention is the only method to protect your cat. See your cat’s veterinarian for best methods of protection.
For more information on heartworm disease caused by mosquitoes click this link.
Mosquito Life Cycle
It’s important to know how mosquitoes breed, where they breed, and how to treat. Mosquitoes go through a complete metamorphosis. They start as eggs laid in stagnant water then develop into larvae, then pupa. The adult mosquito emerges from water, dries off it’s wings and body, allows body parts to harden and, when ready, takes off. A few days later the adult mosquito will be ready for blood feeding and mating.
One of the big problems with dealing with mosquitoes is their ability to adapt. They have adapted to most water types such as ponds, marshes, woodland pools, drainage ditches, tree holes and temporary flood waters. Even man made items such as old tires, bird baths, gutters, plant pots, bottles and even something as small a a bottle top. It takes very little water for the female mosquito to lay her eggs. Most species of mosquito will only require 10 to 14 days to totally develop from egg to adult depending on temperature and weather. Mosquito eggs can be laid in small groups all the way to groups of 200 eggs laid to form “rafts” that float on top of the water. If there is not enough water for eggs to hatch, some mosquitoes can lay eggs in moist soil or mulch. They can survive up to 3 to 5 years as dormant eggs. When there is enough rain, or watering of mulch bed to inundate the eggs they will start their development.
Steps of Mosquito Control
At Walker Pest Management we rely on years of scientific studies, our own research, and hands on experience when dealing with mosquitoes. When a WPM mosquito expert comes to your home they will first Identify areas of concern with accurate and thorough assessment of the property. This could be something as simple as a wheel barrow under a deck, clogged gutter, over watered mulch bed, or even that bird bath that isn’t being cleaned and refilled every day. The technician will take care of the problems he can and point out things the homeowner may need to take care of, as well. Using a special backpack blower system the WPM technician will then treat plants, shrubs, under decks and porches – anywhere that might be harboring mosquitoes. You will see best results if started at the beginning of mosquito season (usually March) and carried through the end of mosquito season (typically October or early November depending on weather). For best results, neighbors should consider treatment as well, as mosquitoes can fly long distances. Homeowners interested in scheduling or getting more information, please head to our Contact Page. Here you can find a local number or send a form request for information and scheduling. If you are part of an HOA or are the head of an HOA that is interested in community pricing please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 866-442-7378.