There are approximately 60 species of mosquitoes in our region. All of them are actually small flies, possessing only two wings as adults. Unlike many of their more stout bodied and quick-on-the-wing cousins mosquitoes rarely breed inside of the home and are not prone to mechanically transmit food-borne diseases like E. coli, Salmonella, or Listeria. However, all adult female mosquitoes feed on blood to obtain a nutritious meal for egg production.
Adult females will take multiple meals during their lifetime and during this process can carry a number of serious pathogenic organisms. They are responsible for transmitting diseases like West Nile, Zika, chikungunya, malaria, and many more. It’s important to remember that no single mosquito species is able to transmit all of these pathogens and that the pathogens must be present in the environment for mosquitoes to be able to spread them. One of the reasons that a Zika virus outbreak in our area isn’t anticipated is because the principle mosquito vectors of Zika are uncommon here. Click here to read "Should Michigan Residents be Concerned About the Zika Virus?", an excellent article by Dr. Kaufman, an entomologist and mosquito specialist at Michigan State University.
A Culex mosquito biting only seconds before getting swatted!
Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis as they develop. They start life as an egg. The egg hatches into an aquatic larva that feeds and grows for a period of time before pupating. Out of the pupa emerges the adult mosquito, the only stage that lives on land and has wings. This is the same type of metamorphosis that butterflies go through. Interestingly, both mosquitoes and butterflies have scales on their wings, feed primarily on nectar, and can be quite colorful. It’s amazing how a little blood feeding can tarnish the reputation!
Where are mosquitoes breeding on your property? See if you can find any larvae maturing in pools of water in your yard next time you’re outside. Drain any standing water you find. Proper storage, replacing old standing water, dumping temporary containers, or drilling holes in habitual containers can go a long ways to reducing these pests in your yard.
Sometimes a breeding site can look pretty innocent, like the small puddle of standing water in the lawn in this photo. But when you look more closely you may see the wriggling larvae (inset) and realize just how important these small pools are to mosquito development. The larvae themselves are harmless, only feeding on microorganisms or other small prey that they can catch in the water. In fact some mosquito larvae, like the species Psorophora ciliata actually eat other mosquito larvae living in the same pool! However, any good they do while larvae is quickly forgotten once they mature and come to feed on you!
Standing water like the small puddle of water in this lawn, are essential to the production of new mosquitoes. Anything you can do to remove it will help reduce the mosquito population.
Even after addressing potential breeding sites on your property you will still see some mosquitoes coming in from adjacent areas, or from conditions that you are unable to correct. It’s important to protect yourself and your loved ones with an appropriate repellent when spending any length of time outdoors during mosquito season.
Rose has been improving our client’s environments since 1860 and can certainly help you out with a mosquito problem! At Rose Pest Solutions, we offer affordable and effective mosquito control services for residential properties. Our mosquito experts survey your property for mosquito activity and can apply one-time or recurring treatments that are designed to eliminate and prevent mosquito activity around your home. We are concerned with the health of your family, pets, and other beneficial organisms around your yard and take every effort to keep our treatments in locations where mosquitoes, but little else (including other pollinators), are affected. Rose can handle any job from a single property to an entire township. Click here > to schedule your free inspection.
Standing water is essential to the production of new mosquitoes, anything you can do to remove it will help.