Mosquitoes leave annoying, itchy red bumps when they bite you, but they are more than a minor nuisance. Mosquitoes carry diseases between hosts, leading to outbreaks of malaria, West Nile Virus, Zika virus, and dengue fever, among others. Each of these diseases can prove fatal to humans who contract them, so mosquito population control is essential for preventing further infection.
To successfully prevent a mosquito infestation, you’ll need to identify and understand mosquitoes. The tiny pests are members of the fly family. They have long, segmented legs, and a tube-shaped mouth that allows them to pierce skin and suck blood. One of the mosquito bite characteristics is that their saliva contains an agent that prevents blood from coagulating, allowing them to easily gorge themselves.
It’s easy to confuse mosquitoes with another relative, the crane fly, as the insects have similar body shapes. However, mosquitoes rarely grow larger than three-fourths of an inch, while crane flies can measure over two inches long. Crane flies don’t bite, so they don’t transfer disease, and in fact eat mosquitoes, providing natural pest control.
Male mosquitoes only live for 10 days after reaching maturity, while female mosquitoes live for about six weeks. While alive, the insects feed on nectar and breed. After mating, the female will need to feed on blood, either to produce more eggs (in some species) or to produce eggs at all.
The female will then lay her eggs in a safe location, generally stagnant water. Mosquitoes often surround areas like lakes, puddles, marshes, and swampy backyards. Unseasonably rainy weather can lead to rapid population growth. A mosquito can lay up to 200 eggs in a single clutch, and females can continue to mate until they die.
Signs of an Infestation
Since mosquitoes are so small, they can be hard to spot. However, if you have an infestation, you’ll notice quickly. You may see swarms of the small black insects hovering around your yard. You may find your arm or leg covered in bites after spending time outside, even if you didn’t feel the bite. You will likely hear a soft buzzing sound when they come close.
Finally, if water has collected in your yard due to warm spring rains, you will likely face a large mosquito population. Rather than letting the insects take over your yard, call Cavanaugh Pest Control as soon as you suspect your lawn might be a mosquito breeding ground. We offer the best in mosquito pest control to residents and businesses in New Jersey.
Call one of our offices in Freehold, NJ; Flanders, NJ; or Somerville, NJ to learn more about ridding your living space of these dangerous insects.