Mosquitos are annoying pests that invade our yards, pools, gardens and sometimes even our homes. However, the downside of a mosquito infestation reaches beyond itchy bites and constant buzzing. The presence of mosquitos on your property and in your home can bring major health risks to you and your family. This means that effective mosquito control will be necessary if you find that you’re facing an infestation.
Due to Houston’s place as a Gulf Coast city, its high level of humidity and warm climate, mosquitos thrive in the area, giving bigger cause for concern to Houstonians than for Americans in other regions of the United States. According to Orkin, Houston ranks number seven on America’s most mosquito infested cities. Mosquito season in Houston will generally begin in early February as the cooler temperatures from winter begin to wear off and warm up. Mosquitos are known to hibernate in the winter making this warm weather a welcome environment for the insects and the need for mosquito control even greater. By June, mosquito season is at its peak and the annoyances and dangers of an infestation are at their highest.
There are ways that you and your family can prepare your home for mosquito season before the swarms of mosquitos or itchy mosquito bites start to take effect. It is recommended that you seek mosquito control and safeguard your home from mosquitos during the cooler months before the mosquito breeding population has been established. If you wait to rid your home of mosquitos after an infestation has occurred, you might be facing a much bigger problem than if you began mosquito control before these unwelcome visitors took residence on your property.
When seeking more information about mosquitos and mosquito control, it is valuable to know more about the a mosquitos lifecycle and breeding habits, the associated health risks and how you can prepare for mosquito season.
Types of Mosquitos and Their Habits
The United States is home to over 175 types of different mosquito species with more than 50 of these species calling Houston their home. With so many varying species buzzing around Houston, it is crucial to understand which of these species are dangerous and which are not so that you know when it’s time to seek mosquito control.
Different types of mosquitos can be identified by their color, shape, size, habitat and when they are active. It is generally common knowledge that mosquitos come out in full force when the sun is down, during dawn or dusk. However, the time that mosquitos are most active is dependent upon their species, as some mosquito species prefer activity in the light and heat of day. Recognizing these habits and knowing when your mosquito problem is at its worse is an important step in identifying which species of mosquito you might be dealing with. Additionally, some mosquito species vary in their feeding habits, as some prefer to dine on animal blood while some prefer human blood. Not all mosquitos are harmful and when they bite, are simply trying to survive on their food source. However, some mosquito species carry viruses and spread diseases including dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever that are harmful and even fatal to humans. In Houston, there are four prominent mosquito species. Regardless of which type of species you are dealing with, it is important to take steps to safeguard your home and seek mosquito control if necessary.
Yellow Fever Mosquito
The Yellow Fever Mosquito is a very dangerous species of mosquito that is found in Houston. This species is the primary carrier of Zika virus and can also spread dengue fever and yellow fever among humans, as they prefer human blood over animal blood. This makes it crucial to seek mosquito control if you find your home or property infested by this insect. A full grown Yellow Fever Mosquito has a black body with white scales on its middle section and white bands on its legs. The size of this mosquito is smaller than other types and will generally be most active in the daytime, particularly early morning and late afternoon. If the lighting is sufficient, Yellow Fever Mosquitos will also bite at night time. This particular species prefers to live near stagnant water and is generally found close to areas inhabited by humans, including discarded tires, flower vases or toilet tanks. This makes it possible that the Yellow Fever Mosquito will even bite you while you are inside of your home, as they also tend to dwell in indoor spaces such as cabinets or cupboards.
The female Yellow Fever Mosquito will lay her eggs in essentially any vessel including flower pots, rain gutters, tree holes, old tires, aluminum cans and damp soil. This mosquito species breeds year round in the southern regions of the United States and generally will remain close to its breeding ground. While some mosquito species are only active during particular seasons, the Yellow Fever Mosquito is active and posing a potential threat to your family all year long. This makes effective Yellow Fever Mosquito control essential to the safety of you and your family.
Asian Tiger Mosquito
The Asian Tiger Mosquito was first discovered in the United States in Houston, Texas. Currently, this type of mosquito is moving into new areas and replacing Yellow Fever Mosquitos. The Asian Tiger Mosquito is another mosquito species that can be harmful or even deadly to humans as they spread dengue virus, West Nile virus and heartworm through bites to exposed skin. They are also known to carry more than 30 additional viruses. This species of mosquito is less discriminate than the Yellow Fever Mosquito when it comes to their preferred food source. While the Yellow Fever Mosquito prefers to indulge in human blood, the Asian Tiger Mosquito will also dine on the blood of animals, posing a risk to birds, dogs, cats and other mammals. So as these mosquitos are a threat to you and your family, they can also be dangerous to pets. This is good reason to seek mosquito control if facing an infestation by this particular species.
Asian Tiger Mosquitos are very small in size, dark in color with white stripes and banded legs. Their antennae is shorter than their heads and like all mosquito species, they have one pair of wings and six legs. Similar to the Yellow Fever Mosquito, the Asian Tiger Mosquito will bite outdoors as well as indoors. however, this species is more commonly found outside. You will find this type of mosquito active during year round and particularly during the day time. Asian Tiger Mosquitos are notorious for being very aggressive, persistent and active biters with some classifying them as the most annoying type of mosquito. The female mosquito is even known to bite her target multiple times until she has ingested enough blood to produce her eggs. In addition to ensuring the safety of your family, finding mosquito control for these pesky insects may also be helpful in maintaining your sanity.
The breeding habits of the Asian Tiger Mosquito are similar to those of the Yellow Fever Mosquito. The female mosquito will choose bottles, flower pots, plastic cups and other small items that contain any amount of standing water. This mosquito species usually will not travel more than half of a mile from its breeding site.
Common Malaria Mosquito
The Common Malaria Mosquito is known to be the primary transmitter of malaria in humans and of heartworm in dogs, but can also carry and transmit West Nile Virus. This type of mosquito prefers to dine on mammal blood, including the blood of humans, making them another species that is dangerous to the health of your family and pets. Adult Common Malaria Mosquitos are large in size, dark dark in color and have a unique posture. As the Common Malaria Mosquito is resting, its stomach will point upwards as opposed to lying flat on a surface. This is one unique way to tell whether or not you have been infested by this species and if you should seek mosquito control. These mosquitos are very active at dusk, just before dawn and throughout the entire night.
Females of this particular mosquito species only live for a few weeks to a month maximum, but will mate multiple times in their short lifetimes, producing thousands of eggs. She will then lay up to 200 eggs on a water surface where mild vegetation is usually present. This includes freshwater swamps, the edges of ponds, lakes or reservoirs and roots which are floating. These eggs can take between 2 days and three weeks to hatch. Investing in effective mosquito control before these eggs hatch can help to manage an impending infestation.
Common House Mosquito
The Common House Mosquito is the most prevalent mosquito species in the United States, mostly infesting urban and suburban areas. Their frequent presence in areas inhabited by humans makes mosquito control for this species common. The Common House Mosquito is the primary carrier of West Nile Virus, heartworm in dogs, bird Malaria, Western Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis. Historically, the Common House Mosquito’s main target was birds, but has since moved on to feeding on mammal blood, including humans. Transmission of disease by the Common House Mosquito usually starts with biting an infected bird and then biting another another bird or mammal. This injects the second target with the disease contracted from the initial infected bird. Because the Common House Mosquito spreads disease between different species, it is considered a “bridge” transmitter. This species of mosquito tends to be active in the summer months, most commonly biting in the evening or within the first few hours of night.
The Common House Mosquito is medium in size with adults reaching up to one-fourth of an inch. Their bodies are brown and gray with brown wings. The female will lay her eggs in vessels filled with polluted water including stagnant ponds and broken septic systems. These eggs then hatch within two days and risk for infestation becomes even greater. Having an effective mosquito control plan will help you to avoid or rid your home of these bothersome and dangerous insects.
How To Safe Guard Your Home From Mosquitos
It is possible to take steps in protecting your home from an infestation before mosquito control becomes necessary. One of the most important steps is to remove standing water from inside your home or on your property. As mentioned, female mosquitos need water to lay their eggs and without a water source, the risks of mosquito breeding near your home become less. It is also helpful to control the vegetation around your home, as some mosquitos will rest in your plants during the day time. Other effective way to prevent a mosquito infestation are to install window screens and seal leaks in and around your home. Window screens can be beneficial in preventing mosquitos from entering your home through windows, but if you have leaks in our around your house, this may offer an alternative point of entry for mosquitos. Inspect your doors and windows for leaks and seal any found leaks with caulking material. Mosquito nets, mosquito repellent and using fans in your home are further ways you can work to prevent an infestation before seeking mosquito control.
When To Seek Mosquito Control
If you have noticed a strong presence of mosquitos around your home or property, it’s time to seek professional mosquito control. Early detection and treatment helps to ensure the safety of you, your family and your pets, as the longer the infestation occurs, the higher the chances of getting bitten and possibly contracting a disease. Natran is Houston’s best option for gentle, botanical and effective mosquito control. With minimal risk mosquito yard fogging and a state-of-the-art mosquito misting system, Natran works quickly and effectively to subdue the mosquito population on your property. This will offer you and your family relief from the annoyances of mosquitos, as well as their associated health and safety risks.