Mosquito Identification And Habits
Mosquito identification and mosquito habits are important to know if you live in Tennessee.
First of all, mosquitos have been labeled the most dangerous living insects on earth. This is due to the number of diseases they can transfer to animals and humans when they take a blood meal.
Consequently, more human deaths have been attributed to mosquitoes than any other animal. These deaths can be attributed to malaria, yellow fever and other diseases carried by these pests.
There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world and around 175 species in North America and Mexico. Not all species will feed on humans.
Mosquitoes need water to develop. The female lays eggs on or close to water. The eggs hatch into larvae called wigglers that feed on small organisms in the water. The wigglers hang upside just under the surface of the water.
Wigglers breathe through tubes at the ends of their abdomens sticking above the surface of the water. Pupae or “tumblers” will float just under the water surface. They breathe through two horn-like tubes that break the water surface.
Adults will emerge directly from the pupae and literally stand on the surface of the water. Female may feed on nectar but must feed on blood in order to lay eggs. Males only feed on nectar and plant secretions.
Some female mosquitoes will lay single eggs or egg masses called ralts on the surface of water. Some mosquitoes will lay eggs in moist areas where water may flood. The eggs will wait to be covered with water to hatch. Females can live up to five months.
Permanent Pool Mosquitoes
There are a number of mosquito species in the United States. They are comprised of groups based on life cycles and habits.
The Permanent pool mosquitoes develop from permanent or semi-permanent pools of water like lakes, ponds, and swamps. Females will usually lay their eggs on the water surface. They will usually stay within a mile of their water source. They usually feed from dusk to dark.
Flood Water Mosquitoes
Flood water mosquitoes will lay eggs in damp soil or soil that gets flooded. This includes reservoirs or heavy rains that may flood a temporary pool. Some eggs can wait for years to develop in water. These mosquitoes will aggressively attack humans and can fly for miles for a blood meal.
This mosquito group is always worse after heavy rainfall or floods. They usually feed at dusk and at dawn. Adult females can live up to five weeks.
Container mosquitoes are characterized by their habit of laying eggs in small containers. As a result, these containers could be tires, bird baths, buckets, and pet bowls.
This group of mosquitoes will readily develop populations around homes and urban environments. Some mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in tree holes and cavities. Therefore, they will deposit eggs on the water surface or water’s edge.
Above all, the adults will normally remain within a block or two of their water source. Some of our most common mosquitoes are found in this group. The most common member of this group in Tennessee is the Asian tiger mosquito.
Interesting Facts About Tennessee Mosquitoes And Their Habits:
- Mosquitoes are weak flyers so an electric fan can keep them away
- The common name “mosquito” is derived from the Spanish word meaning “little fly or gnat”
- Electric bug zappers are not very effective in killing mosquitoes
North America has many mosquito species capable of spreading disease. Most are viral diseases transferred from birds to mosquitoes then on to humans. Consequently, some of the diseases include Equine encephalitis and the West Nile virus. Malaria, caused by a protozoan, hasn’t had a foothold in the United States since the early 1950s.
Preventative Measures and Mosquito Control in Tennessee
Finally, some of the best controls for mosquitoes is preventative measures. Furthermore, wear protective light clothing when you go into known mosquito areas. Apply proven mosquito repellents.
In addition, regularly pour outstanding water in exterior containers like birdbaths and buckets. Also, try to avoid mosquito peak times like dusk and dawn.
As a result, call U.S. Pest Protection. U.S. Pest is Nashville’s #1 Rated Pest Control & Mosquito Control Company. Most noteworthy, mosquito prevention treatment services are highly recommended across Middle Tennessee.
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