pest control

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 Ticks Go in the Winter?

We recently enlightened you as to where mosquitoes go in the winter, but what about ticks? Most people associate ticks with the warm weather and often take precautions while outside during the spring and summer months. However, ticks don’t actually die out in the winter and, depending on the species, may be active in optimal winter weather conditions. 

Do Ticks Hibernate?

 Not in the exact sense of the word, but some ticks survive the winter by going dormant. Ticks will hide in piles of dead leaves and in wooded areas during the winter. Snow actually helps to insulate the ticks and keep them warm as they lay dormant. Other ticks will survive the winter by latching onto a host or staying underground in burrows or dens. 

 Can Ticks Bite in the Winter?

 Yes, some types of ticks, like the Blacklegged tick, can be active in the winter if the temperature is above freezing and the ground is thawed. Winter ticks, a specific kind of tick found on moose and some deer, actually hatch in the late summer as temperatures begin to fall, will latch onto a host, and will overwinter on it. Females will leave a host at the end of winter and lay eggs. However, those that do not find a host will die and will not last through the winter.  

 How Can You Prepare Now?

 Spring is right around the corner which means that those ticks that have been lying dormant are ready to rock and roll. Follow these simple tips to prepare you property against ticks: 

1.   Rid your yard of any leaf litter, weeds, brush, or wood piles

2.   Move wood piles away from your house and keep swing sets or toys away from wooded perimeters 

3.   Keep your pets out of the woods

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