Throughout Greater San Antonio, Texas, mosquitoes are notoriously known for harassing the locals. Mosquitoes are a summer pest, and once you know what the mosquito looks like, they can be easier to identify. For starters, mosquitoes are equipped with one pair of wings, a long proboscis, and have hair-like scales that cover their bodies. In order for the mosquito to suck up fluids, the proboscis is made up of mouthparts. Depending on the species, mosquitoes can be different colors ranging from pale brown with whitish bands to bright whitish-markings down their abdomens, or even black with white stripes across both its body and legs. Their sizes also range depend on the species as the range to ¼”-1/2”. Today, we at A Five Star Termite and Pest Control would like to elaborate on mosquitoes and mosquito control.
Life Cycle of Mosquito
Mosquitoes have four distinct stages in their lifespan. The life cycle starts as an egg and ends in adulthood. About every third day during the adult female lifespan, they lay eggs, totaling between 100-300 eggs at a time. Mosquito Eggs – Either on the surface of standing water or on the ground in areas that regularly flood is where the eggs are deposited. As little of an inch of water is all it takes for a mosquito to lay her eggs. The eggs need water to hatch and they will hatch in 2-3 days.
Mosquito Larvae – Once hatched, the larvae emerge and they stay in the water and wiggle to swim, earning the nickname wigglers. They hang from the surface of the water and breathe through tubes generally. They develop in to pupae, after shedding their skin, in about a week as they feed on organic matter in the water. Using oils to block their breathing or bacteria to poison the larvae, makes them the easiest time to destroy them.
Mosquito Pupa – In the pupa stage, also known as tumblers, when predators are threatening them, they will tumble into the deepest part of the water. Because they are partially encased in cocoons, with the head at one end and tiny flippers at the other, they are shaped like commas. While developing, the pupae do not feed, however, they do breathe through tubes. After 4 days or so, the pupae become adults.
Adult Mosquitoes – Adult mosquitoes climb out of the water, dry out and rest. Males will develop the reproductive organs for the next day or two and then seek out a mate. Males live 3-5 days, feeding on fruit and plant nectar. The females need to mate once where she can lay eggs after a bloody meal for the rest of their life, which is about a month or 2 at best.
To prepare for mosquito season, apply the following steps:
1) Remove standing water: Potential nurseries for mosquitoes are birdfeeders, old tires, wheelbarrows, flower pots, and buckets, for instance, that collect rain, sprinkler, or pool water. Removing these containers will help avoid eggs being laid close by.
2) Clean gutters: Gutters clogged with leaves, sticks, dirt, and other debris prevent waterflow, giving mosquitoes an opportunity to lay their eggs there. Routinely clean your gutters to avoid mosquito attraction.
3) Level out dirt: Low levels in the landscaping allow water to pool. Be sure to maintain the level ground and in fill in any areas that collect water regularly.
4) Repair window screens: To keep the mosquitoes from wondering indoors, be sure that you have a 16-18 mesh that is the recommended size for pest control installed on the windows or around the doors and patios for added protection.
5) Repair leaks and cracks: Also, to prevent entry, seal any cracks in the structure or foundation and repair any leaks to avoid standing water.