Mosquitoes are among the most annoying pest infestations in Warwick, and they can be among the most difficult to control. However, a combination of cleanup around the property and the application of certain products can correct the situation and make it easier to enjoy outdoor spaces in the spring and summer.
When species such as the Asian tiger mosquito and the Northern House Mosquito start wreaking havoc in yards and homes, then it is time to enlist the services of a licensed exterminator to eliminate the problem.
Sometimes also called forest mosquitoes, the Asian tiger mosquito gets its name from the bright white stripe that travels down its head and back. Moreover, the body and legs display black and white striping. Like most insects, Asian tiger mosquitoes have six legs and a pair of antenna. Their bodies are long and segmented, and they are equipped with a pair of wings. Most adults of the species grow to just one-eighth of an inch in length.
The northern house mosquito also may be referred to as the common house mosquito. Adults typically reach a length of one-quarter inch, which means that this species is among the largest mosquitoes in the region. Individuals may have body colors that range from golden brown to light brown, and their abdomens are marked by pale bands.
Asian tiger mosquitoes may be active all year when conditions are warm enough. A mild winter may allow some members of the species to overwinter. Eggs are laid inside items that tend to collect standing water, which is why it is important to eliminate such items from an infested property.
Asian tiger mosquitoes originated from the warm areas of Southeast Asia, and they have been accidentally introduced to countries around the world. Scientists believe that ongoing climate change may be contributing to an increase in suitable Asian tiger mosquito habitat.
The northern house mosquito is native to Africa, but has managed to establish a presence on every continent except Antarctica. They may be found in rural, suburban and urban settings, just like the Asian tiger mosquito. Also like other species, the northern house mosquito prefers to breed in spots where there is standing water. In fact, they were once called rain barrel mosquitoes because of their marked tendency for laying eggs in those containers.
Plant juices, honeydew and nectar provide food for both male and female mosquitoes. However, female mosquitoes require blood meals from mammalian hosts in order to lay eggs. While most species tend to seek blood meals in the hours around and after sunset, the Asian tiger mosquito is largely a daytime feeder when seeking a blood meal. Mosquitoes will enter human habitations in search of a blood meal.
Mosquito activity tends to become more noticeable in the spring as the days grow longer and temperatures heat up. Activity peaks during the summer with hotter temperatures and longer days, and then begins to decline in the fall. Mosquitoes rarely are seen during Pennsylvania's cold winters.
Encounters between people and mosquitoes are most likely to occur in the hours around twilight and full darkness. Asian tiger mosquitoes are the exception to this as they are likely to be active in the middle of the day.
Mosquitoes tend to be prolific breeders with individual females able to lay up to 3,000 eggs within a two-week period. The eggs are tiny. A single bottle cap may hold as many as 100 eggs.
PROBLEMS WITH MOSQUITOES
Mosquitoes are a major nuisance, particularly in the warmer months as they become more numerous and active and people begin spending more time outdoors. While it is annoying to have tiny, flying insects buzzing around, the chief problem that is associated with mosquitoes is their bite.
Only female mosquitoes actually bite people so that they can lay their eggs. The mosquito's mouth is equipped with a straw-like device that is known as a proboscis. The proboscis pierces the victim's skin so that it is possible to locate a blood vessel and draw blood up into the mouth.
While the blood is being drawn into the mosquito's mouth, the insect's saliva is being dispatched into the victim to act as an anticoagulant. It is the saliva that makes mosquito bites so itchy and irritating. The human immune system recognizes the saliva as a foreign substance and goes into overdrive to fight it. With itching, swelling and redness, most such bites are certainly annoying, though the symptoms dissipate within a few days.
Some individuals experience a severe allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock that may include symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, hives, fever, blisters, lesions and swollen joints. If any of these symptoms appear after a mosquito bite, then medical attention may be required.
Mosquito bites may be itchy and irritating, but they also can be dangerous. This is because mosquitoes are known to carry and transmit numerous diseases. For instance, mosquitoes are infamous carriers of the West Nile virus. Symptoms of this illness may include neck stiffness, fever, headache, disorientation, convulsions and vision loss. Some sufferers also may experience paralysis.
Additionally, mosquitoes transmit dengue fever. This serious illness has symptoms such as rash, nausea, vomiting and various aches and pains, especially behind the eyes. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Instead, physicians must treat the symptoms, recommend rest and hope for recovery.
Mosquitoes carry Saint Louis encephalitis, which has symptoms like tiredness, nausea, vomiting, headache and fever. Other possible illnesses that are carried by mosquitoes include western equine encephalitis in people and horses and heartworms in dogs.
SIGNS OF A MOSQUITO INFESTATION
When these signs are present, mosquito control is necessary:
• High buzzing sounds are a constant presence
• Standing water
• Several instances of itchy mosquito bites
• Mosquitoes are seen hovering over food in the kitchen
• Encountering mosquitoes in shady areas on the property
Property owners should follow these tips to help prevent problems with mosquitoes:
• Keep gutters clean to prevent water accumulation
• Get rid of leaves, branches and foliage around the yard that may trap water
• Ensure that swimming pools, ponds and other water features keep water moving
• Properly treat all pools and water features on the property
• Regularly change the water in pet bowls and bird baths
• Eliminate all standing water on the property, including puddles, flower pots and pools for kids
• Fill in ditches and other low areas where water is likely to accumulate
• Place screens on all windows and doors
• Wear long pants and sleeves when outdoors
• Use insect repellant when outdoors
Getting rid of a mosquito infestation typically integrates several treatment methods. Because mosquitoes thrive in multiple places and various conditions, it is critical that all of these situations are addressed. Additionally, it is impossible to control what nearby neighbors do on their property.
For these reasons it is rarely possible for the average home or business owner to eradicate a mosquito infestation on their own. Instead, it is advisable to seek out a pest control professional.
At Safeguard, our trained technicians have the knowledge and equipment necessary to provide reliable mosquito control.
Our staff of certified technicians will administer treatment in a 100-foot radius of the exterior of the structure. Attention will also be focused on potential resting and breeding areas. These include:
• High moisture content areas
• Bushes and hedges
• Areas where constant shade is found
• Around decks and patios
• Trees in close proximity of roofs and structures