Mosquitoes

What do mosquitoes look like?

It’s probably safe to say most people know what a mosquito looks like.  However, not everyone may realize that there are several types of mosquitoes.  In fact, here in Florida, property owners contend with several species.  Read on to learn more about the most common mosquitoes in our region.

aedes albopictus mosquito resting on vegetation

Aedes Albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquitoes)

Asian tiger mosquitoes received their descriptive name from the black and white “tiger-striped” pattern found on their body. Other identifying features of this species of mosquito include a white strip running down the middle of its head and white banding found along their long thin legs. 

aedes agypti mosquito biting a persons skin

Aedes Agypti (Yellow Fever Mosquitoes)

The aedes agypti mosquito has a dark brown to black colored abdomen and white scales on their thorax that form a violin-like pattern. These mosquitoes have white bands on the tarsal segments of each of their hind legs that form a stripe-like pattern.

culex house mosquito biting a florida resident

Culex (House Mosquitoes)

This species of mosquito is known for being aggressive biters and like to feed on birds and mammals. A specific type of culex mosquito that is very common and is found living throughout Florida is the southern house mosquito; it is a medium-sized brown mosquito that is most active during the nighttime.

close up of a anopheles biting a person

Anopheles

This species of mosquito is most well-known for being vectors or malaria; and while malaria is no longer a significant threat in the United States, anopheles mosquitoes do still occasionally transmit the disease. These mosquitoes are typically very dark in color and are covered in dark brown to black hairs. They prefer to lay their eggs in clean water like streams, ponds, and lakes. Anopheles mosquitoes prefer to feed on the blood of large animals including unfortunately people.

black salt marsh mosquito biting a person in sarasota

Aedes Taeniorhynchus (Black Salt Marsh Mosquitoes)

This species of mosquito is very common in eastern coast areas including throughout Florida. They tend to emerge in large numbers after heavy rains or flooding; and they are aggressive biters. These mosquitoes are often distinguished from other species of mosquitoes by white scales that are found in specific locations on their body. These mosquitoes don’t lay their eggs directly on water like other species, but rather in very moist soil.

Do all mosquitoes bite?

No, male mosquitoes do not bite and do not feed on blood; it is only the female mosquito that bites people and animals in order to have a blood meal. The female needs the protein that is found in the blood to create her eggs. She uses her specialized mouthpart, a long-thin proboscis to pierce the skin of her victim and suck out the blood she needs. After being bitten a raised red welt will develop on their victim.

Are mosquitoes dangerous?

Mosquitoes are actually considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world.  You wouldn’t think so when you consider their size but mosquitoes carry and transmit a whole host of diseases including West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Chikungunya virus, encephalomyelitis, and Zika virus.

While not life-threatening, mosquito bites, if scratched excessively, can result in secondary infections.

What attracts mosquitoes?

Standing water, tall grass, dense vegetation, and potential blood meals and food sources attract mosquitoes.  In order to reproduce, the females of most species must lay her eggs on standing water.  Only a small amount of water is necessary so a clogged gutter, empty plant pot, wheelbarrow, or bird bath will suffice.  

Although there are some exceptions, most mosquitoes prefer to avoid the heat of the midday and take shelter in tall grass, dense vegetation and other growth that allows them to escape the heat. 

Both females and males feed on nectar as their main food source. Because of this, properties that have lots of flowers on them will attract mosquitoes to it. 

Females must also take in a blood meal before reproducing so people and animals on your property will attract these biting pests.  Things that attract mosquitoes to people include:

  • A higher body temperature, mosquitoes are attracted to heat and therefore being more active makes you more of a mosquito magnet.
  • People who are consuming alcohol.
  • People wearing darker colored clothing.
  • People who are wearing perfumes or scented lotions.

How do I get rid of mosquitoes?

Complete mosquito elimination is simply not possible given their ability to travel.  While your property may be devoid of attractants, your neighbors’ properties may provide everything mosquitoes need to not only survive but thrive. 

If you’re tired of mosquito bites and want to take your yard back, contact Keller’s Pest Control.  Our locally owned and operated pest control company offers effective mosquito treatments that significantly reduce mosquito activity.  Not only do we treat areas where mosquitoes rest, we’ll take care of breeding sites so that they cannot reproduce.  Because mosquito season is year-round, we offer ongoing treatments and also offer mosquito misting systems.  Visit our mosquito control page for more information or simply reach out to discuss options.

Is there anything I can do to prevent mosquitoes from taking over my property?

Yes, there are several things that you can do to help deter mosquitoes from choosing your property to invade. Mosquito prevention tips include:

  • Keep your lawn cut short and trim back overgrown vegetation back away from your property line.
  • Reduce the amount of flowering landscape that you have planted on your property.
  • When eating outside, keep food and drinks covered.
  • Remove containers or objects from your property that have the potential to collect water.
  • Make sure that gutters are clear of debris and are directing water away from your home.
  • Fix any leaky outdoor faucets or hoses on your property.
  • Fill in low lying areas found on your property.

Additional Mosquito Articles

The Importance Of Year-Round Mosquito Prevention

 

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