Enjoying the outdoors on a beautiful summer evening can quickly come to an end when these annoying little creatures come out for dinner.
There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes found throughout the world. Not only is the bite from a mosquito bothersome, they’re known for transmitting a variety of diseases. Here in Kansas City, the most common illness contracted by mosquitoes is the West Nile Virus. Additional information regarding the West Nile Virus in the Kansas City Area can be found on this page. Although there are documented reports of the virus in this area, full blown human infection is relatively rare.
Mosquitoes go through four stages in their life-cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Both male and female mosquitoes are nectar feeders, but the females are also capable of drinking blood. The bite received from a mosquito is from a hungry female. Mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide up to 100 feet away. People send out a beacon for mosquitoes during normal breathing. Mosquitoes can also detect heat, so they can find warm-blooded mammals and birds very easily once they get close enough.
Mosquitoes have mouthparts that are adapted for piercing the skin of plants and animals. The female, when feeding on blood meal, will land and stick her needle like proboscis into the skin. Her saliva contains anticoagulants which prevent the blood from clotting. After she’s bitten, some saliva remains in the wound. The area swells and typically itches, a response provoked by the saliva. Eventually the swelling goes away, but the itch remains until the immune cells break down the proteins in the saliva. To treat mosquito bites, wash them with mild soap and water. Try to avoid scratching the bite area, even though it itches. Some anti-itch medicines such as Calamine lotion or over-the-counter cortisone creams may relieve the itching. Pest repellents containing DEET are effective in preventing mosquito bites. Most products contain a concentration of 7.5 percent to 100 percent. Lower concentrations are sufficient for most outdoor protection and a 15-percent concentration is recommended for children.
Eliminating mosquito breeding environments will go a long way in prevention. Remove any standing water from the yard and clean-out bird baths at least once a week. Keep gutters around the home clean to avoid moisture collection. Keep garden areas well irrigated. It’s also recommended to have your yard treated professionally for control and prevention. Advantage Termite and Pest Control has experience and success in reducing mosquito populations around homes in the Johnson, Wyandotte and Douglas County areas. Call us to today for an estimate and enjoy an outdoor evening mosquito free.
* Mosquitoes are not active on windy or cool days.
* The high-pitched sound they make is created by their rapid wing beats (of up to 500 beats per second). It helps the males hone in on a mate.
* A mosquito doesn’t actually bite, it stabs, piercing your skin with its long proboscis.