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At Pointe Pest Control we take pride in protecting your home from year-round invaders and seasonal pests. Our experienced, licensed, and well-trained technicians are committed to providing your home with safe, environmentally friendly pest protection. We simply guarantee results, if pest activity persists after a service call, we will return for free until the problem has been solved.
Let’s Talk Little Winged Devils
Mosquitoes are little winged insects with sharp, tube-like mouthparts that pierce the skin of mammals and suck out their blood. Almost everyone at some point has had an encounter with this annoying insect and been left with an incredibly itchy welt. Mosquitoes are one of the most hated insects on the planet. They can take an enjoyable picnic or barbecue and turn it into one of misery once they start biting. If you notice swarms of mosquitoes in your yard or around your house however, there are measures you take to prevent and get rid of them. Pointe Pest Control offers solutions for all your mosquito control needs.
You don’t need to move your dinner parties indoors anymore, let us help bring back enjoyment to your evening backyard get togethers.
Mosquito Life Cycle
A mosquito life cycle is relatively short compared to other insects. The eggs are all laid at once by a female and attached to each other to form a “raft” that can float on top of water. Other types of mosquitoes can lay them singly in wet soil, refuse or debris. These eggs are very hardy and can withstand subzero temperatures, but with professional mosquito control, they don’t stand a chance. Once eggs have been laid, they typically hatch within 48 hours and others are laid and wait out the harsh winter weather before hatching. Cold weather does not kill mosquito eggs and once spring hits, they will be all over your yard again.
After the eggs hatch, mosquitoes change into larvae and pupal states where they molt several times, feeding on microorganisms in the water before changing into their final state as an adult mosquito. The entire lifecycle of a mosquito differs based on the temperature of their surroundings but on average, female mosquitoes live about 6-8 weeks. Male mosquitoes live a short 10 days and though they do not bite, they are still a threat since they fertilize the eggs of a female, helping to perpetuate this cycle. A female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs at a time so as you can imagine, with such a short life cycle, these insects can reproduce quickly. Infestations of mosquitoes during the spring and summer months are common if they have a place to keep laying their eggs.
Where Mosquitoes Live
Mosquitoes grow and breed in areas with a high moisture content. Look around your home. Do you have standing water, puddles, gardens with saturated soil or dripping water hoses? These are prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. They see these areas as an invitation to lay their eggs and make your home their home. Here are a few other things you can do to avoid unintentionally creating mosquitoes breeding areas:
- Get rid of tin cans, buckets, old tires or anything that can catch rain water
- Keep your rain gutters on your roof free of debris and trash so stagnant water does not accumulate
- Check air conditioner drip pans
- Clean out the gutters near your sidewalk and other drainage areas so the wet debris does not attract them
- Keep your trash cans covered and sealed
- Change bird bath water regularly
- Do not overfill flower pots causing excess water in the drip trays
- If you have tarps covering firewood or other areas in your yard, shake them off regularly.
It’s important after you empty the water however, to clean these areas with soap and water. Eggs can remain stuck to these areas even in the absence of water and then hatch later. Keeping your yard mosquito free requires vigilance.
The Danger of Mosquitoes
It has been said that “mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals in the entire world.” That is not what most people think of when they think of dangerous animals. Sharks, hippos, moose, lions and other muscular, sharp toothed animals are typically what come to mind. Though those animals can be quite scary in the wild, the reason that mosquitoes top the list as most dangerous is because of the numerous deaths they cause each year. In history, mosquitoes have been the result of massive, catastrophic casualties because of how quickly they spread disease from one person to the next.
We humans take extreme precautions when it comes to protecting ourselves against blood-borne pathogens and diseases. Within hospitals, we are beyond careful to protect patients and medical personnel alike from passing contagious diseases around. Mosquitoes however, pass blood infected with disease without a care from person to person, completely unrestricted and unrestrained. These mosquitoes are vehicles for disease transmission and once they pick up the virus from a host, it is able to reproduce within the mosquito. When the mosquito bites again, it transfers that virus through its saliva to the new host.
What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Carry?
Mosquitoes have been transmitting deadly diseases for centuries and up until the advent of modern medicine, they were responsible for killing off large populations of people. As our medical knowledge has become more advanced and we have developed new ways to keep mosquitoes away, the fatalities resulting from these diseases have slowed down. But there is still a fear of some of these mosquito-borne diseases because although we can try do our best to slow the spread, we have not eradicated these diseases yet.
Here are a few of the most well known mosquito transmitted diseases:
Mosquitoes have made recent headlines with the spread of the Zika virus, a terrifying disease that presents as fierce flu-like symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. However, another tragic result is that the babies of infected pregnant women are also born with microcephaly, a birth defect resulting in an unusually small head and other problems such as developmental delays, hearing and vision loss, seizures and poor movement and balance.
Malaria is caused by a one-celled parasite that a mosquito picks up from infected people. Within the mosquito, the parasite reproduces and when it bites again, the mosquito passes the parasite through its salivary glands on to its next victim. Malaria parasites reproduce rapidly within the liver and red blood cells of the infected individual causing potentially deadly results. These parasites destroy red blood cells and clog the capillaries which result in irreversible damage within blood vessels and major organs. Every year, over 200-300 million people are afflicted with malaria and of those, more than 400,000 people die from it.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is a commonly transmitted disease that mosquitoes carry, however 70-80% of people who become infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms at all. However, 1 in 5 people will become symptomatic and the symptoms are severe. These include headache, rash, body aches, joint pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms go away within a week but the resulting fatigue and exhaustion can last for week or months even. In a small percentage of those symptomatic with West Nile virus, severe neurologic symptoms can present. Those with weakened immune systems can develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) or meningitis. Some of these neurological effects can be permanent, making this disease very dangerous. It kills roughly 100 people each year.
The Most Annoying Bite Ever
Not only have mosquitoes passed terrifying diseases back and forth from one human to another, causing mass destruction, chaos and death for centuries, they also have the added bonus of making you itch and scratch till you almost want to cut off the offending body part with the bite. You often have no idea that a mosquito is biting you and there is actually quite a sneaky bit of science behind it.
Within the mosquitoes saliva are a few secret weapons which help the mosquito to bite without you knowing. First, the mosquito’s proboscis (or sucking mouth part) is very thin and often able to slide between your nerves, allowing it to drink your blood without your knowledge. Second, the saliva also acts like an anesthetic that numbs your skin and tissues so you do not feel the tiny needle being inserted. Third, the saliva also contains anticoagulants that prevent you from bleeding from the piercing once the mosquito is done. It coagulates and seals the wound, which often times gives these mosquitoes the opportunity to possibly bite you again and again before you are aware of their presence. The itching from a mosquito bite is a human’s allergic response to the saliva of this insect. Some people are present a more severe reaction than others, thus the reason some demonstrate varying degrees of itchiness.
Mosquitoes can drink more than 3 times its weight in blood. This may sound like a lot but it would actually take 1.2 million bites to drain all your blood from your body. They are attracted to human breath, meaning that the carbon dioxide you release when you exhale is like a dinner bell for them. Mosquitoes also have heat sensors so if you are particularly hot and sweaty, they come flying as fast as they can to get a snack.
A Few Ways to Keep Them Away
Along with cleaning up debris and removing standing water around your yard, here are few other creative ways to keep the mosquitoes at bay:
- Wear mosquito repellant with DEET
- Burn citronella candles at your outdoor parties. Mosquitoes are repulsed by the smell and will stay away.
- Eat more garlic. This one might repel your fellow humans as well, but it has been researched that the garlic secreted through your skin, acts as a barrier between your skin and mosquitoes.
- If your area allows it, set up bat houses. One bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single night.
- Plant mosquito repellant plants. There are plants that are known to naturally repel mosquitoes. These include lavender, basil, peppermint, marigold, catnip, rosemary and geranium.
While these are a few things you can do to keep mosquitoes away, the best, most effective way to keep mosquitoes away is to schedule an appointment with your professional, experienced mosquito experts at Pointe Pest Control. Over the counter mosquito yard sprays can be dangerous and harmful for the environment. Our treatments keep your children, pets and the environment safe. Not only are our methods safe, we know where to treat, the areas of your yard when mosquitoes usually breed and where to find them. It is important to schedule routine treatments to keep your yard mosquito free year round. You will no longer need to stress about mosquitoes crashing your backyard parties.
Call Pointe Pest Control today for all your mosquito and pest control needs. Our goal is to keep your home pest free and your satisfaction is very important to us. Happy customers are what keeps our business alive and we will do everything we can to ensure your satisfaction. Make an appointment today!
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