Do you walk outside and immediately get attacked by mosquitoes? Are you constantly feeling like a mosquito magnet? You are not alone! Mosquitoes can ruin a fun-filled evening outdoors as soon as you step outside. Discover how you can safeguard against these annoying pests and get back to enjoying the rest of your summer with a few helpful tips and tricks.
A Mosquito's Life
With more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, approximately 176 are found in the United States. Mosquitoes are insects that belong to the Diptera order. Also known as True Flies, they have two wings, six legs, and scales, unlike other flies. Additionally, only female mosquitoes can bite humans since they have mouthparts that are formed with a long piercing-sucking proboscis whereas male mosquitoes have a feathery antennae and mouth not suitable for piercing the skin.
Mosquitoes are cold-blooded and prefer weather above 80 degrees. When weather consistently gets below 50 degrees, they begin to hibernate for the season. Adult female mosquitoes choose warmer areas such as holes for hibernation until the weather warms up and in some cases, the female will lay their eggs in freezing water where they will hatch when the weather temperatures rise. Mosquitoes will spend their first 10 days in water until they have fully developed into adults.
Mosquito Fast Facts:
- Average mosquito lifespan ranges from two weeks to two months
- They are typically between 1/8 to 3/4 inches in size
- Mosquitos are carnivores
- Mosquito is Spanish for 'little fly'
- Mosquitoes do not have teeth
- A mosquito can consume up to three times its weight in blood
- Mosquitoes are considered one of the deadliest 'animals' in the world
- Mosquitoes can smell human breath
- Sweat and body heat help mosquitoes zero in on their target
Species of Mosquitoes Found in Iowa
There are two main types of mosquitoes found in Iowa: vector and floodwater mosquitoes. Floodwater mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in relatively low-lying areas that are immersed in water and will hatch approximately two weeks later after a heavy rainfall. Floodwater mosquitoes can bite and be a nuisance, but they are not known to carry diseases. However, on the other hand, vector mosquitoes do carry diseases. These mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water in places such as low ditches, ponds, etc. Their eggs will hatch in about two days and remain close to where they are born.
Mosquito Prevention & Protection Tips
This year alone there have already been eight reported cases of West Nile virus within Iowa. Mosquito season is far from over and taking the right precautions is crucial to staying healthy. Many mosquito problems are often caused by any location with standing water or items that hold water that allow them to breed. Follow these effective prevention tips:
What to wear.
- Eliminate standing water in ditches, gutters, or low spots
- Regularly empty items that hold water such as bird baths, pot plant saucers, pool covers, etc.
- Empty and clean pet water dishes regularly
- Repair any leaky outdoor faucets
According to the American Mosquito Control Association, wearing light colored and loose fitting clothing is most effective when preventing mosquito bites. Recent studies have suggested that mosquito species within the United States tend to be more attracted to dark as well as tight-fitting clothing that is more accessible to bite through.
When choosing a mosquito repellent check to make sure it has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Approved products have been reviewed, and pose little risk to human safety when following label directions. When choosing repellent, DEET is considered to be one the most effective mosquito repellents.
Mosquito Control Services
Don't let mosquitoes ruin your summer. Take back control and win the war against these nuisance pests with Preferred Pest Control! If mosquito swarms just don't seem to go away after following the prevention tips and tricks, our pest professionals will put your mind at ease in no time with our industry-leading solutions. Schedule an appointment today!