Is that a puddle? Or an egg hatchery?

Inland Floodwater Mosquito ( Aedes vexans ) - Photo courtesy of  Thomas Palmer

Inland Floodwater Mosquito (Aedes vexans) - Photo courtesy of Thomas Palmer

During this rainy spring and summer, have you noticed any small collections of water around your yard? Perhaps a children’s wading pool, vase, watering can, tarps, buckets or gutters? It may seem harmless, but to female mosquitoes it’s a perfect egg hatchery. In fact, a single square foot of standing water can produce 7,000 mosquitoes.

Some species will lay 100 eggs or so at a time directly in the water. Others like the Aedes vexan lay their eggs individually on moist soil above the water line. They prefer temporary pools such as overflow pond for a parking lot, irrigated lawns that regularly shower water, and especially leaf and twig cover that helps keep the soil moist.

Dry eggs can remain dormant but viable for many years. But a single rain can add just enough water to hatch a fresh batch of mosquitoes. Once the eggs are submerged, they cycle from larva to pupa and then adult within about 10 days. 

The new adult males fly off in search of nectar, their sole food source. Females, however, must feed on blood in order to nourish and lay their eggs. The closer their “birthplace” is to people and pets, the easier it is for them to multiply and repeat the mosquito circle of life.

April Showers Bring May Flowers…AND MORE MOSQUITOES!

Mosquitoes populations boom in years with rainy springs and hot (even dry) summers, and 2019 is showing to have both. April recorded the most number of rain days in any month since 1872, and this year will likely be one of the hottest on record, if trends of the past five are any sign. 

 Bad news for us, and good news for the 51 mosquito species in Massachusetts and 47 in New Hampshire. A dozen of them are known to carry viruses (some deadly), and ALL are annoying and itchy nuisances. 

Their life cycles and activity vary from about mid-April until possibly mid-November, or when nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees. That makes each month a mosquito battle, requiring multiple treatments throughout the season. But here are three things you can do to win the war:

“Turn and Toss”
Look for and eliminate any collection of standing water of around your property—even small containers, puddles and gutters (especially those close to windows). A single female needs only one bloodmeal and one inch of water to produce 200 eggs—and then she goes off for another meal and more eggs.   

Call in the Professionals
Even if you’ve drained all the water, mosquitoes will still come on to your property in the hot summer months when adult activity is highest. A quick search will turn up many do-it-yourself suggestions, but none are as effective as consistent professional expertise. Our highly-trained Mosquito Buster team will identify your risks of infestation, educate you on how to discourage them between treatments, and apply the treatment that is best for your yard (we offer both traditional and natural control methods).

Get Ready to Party
Summer is the perfect time for backyard barbeques, graduation and birthday parties, and wedding receptions. Mosquitoes never make the guest list, but gather a group of people and they’ll show up anyway. So it’s always a good idea to schedule a treatment one to two days before your big event, no matter if you are on a regular treatment plan or just looking for a one-time service. 

Where Do Mosquitoes Go in the Winter?

Ever wonder where mosquitoes go during the winter and why they’re not biting? Many people are under the assumption that mosquitoes simply die as the temperatures drop but this is not the case! The answer is actually quite interesting and proves that the mosquito is a resilient little insect. 

Do Mosquitoes Hibernate?

Male mosquitoes have a lifespan of only about a week and a half and die after mating in the fall. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in the fall in areas where the ground is wet and moist or in stagnant water. They then become inactive during the winter months, similar to how bears hibernate. The already laid eggs lay dormant in the soil and freezing water until conditions become more favorable for hatching. Those that live in regions where the temperatures get below freezing, like in New England, will delay their development until the weather warms up. This process is called diapause. Once the weather is warmed up those eggs will continue development and will begin to hatch. 

Why Don’t They Bite During the Winter?

In addition to being dormant, mosquitoes simply don’t need to bite humans during the winter months. The reason female mosquitoes bite in the first place is because they need the protein in human blood to assist in egg production, which is not happening in winter. Once spring arrives, though, those previously laid eggs begin to hatch, and females prepare for reproduction. This is when we begin to notice their arrival and their bothersome bites. 

How Can You Prepare Now?

Now that you know more about the habits of mosquitoes in the winter, here are some simple tips to prepare your property to keep them at bay this spring: 

1.     Remove any stagnant water from your property that could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes

2.     Unclog gutters and repair leaky pipes to allow for proper drainage 

3.     Call Mosquito Busters at 877-486-9792 and visit our website for more information on how we can help! 

 

 

Mosquito Borne Diseases

Mosquito Borne Diseases

Summertime means lots of lazy days hanging outside, barbecues with friends, and walks in the woods. However, with the good comes the bad, and mosquitoes can really put a damper on your summertime fun. Not only are mosquitoes annoying and apt to leave you with itchy, red welts, but they can also carry and transmit some pretty unpleasant diseases. Read on to learn about five of them: