- Scientific name: Culicidae
- Size: Varies
- Color: Varies
- Shape: Compact head (including proboscis) and thorax region with a long abdomen and long, jointed legs
- Found in: The whole of the United States.
The mosquito may be one of the best known pest insects in the world. They are known for their eating habits and their ability to transmit several different types of disease. The mosquito is known as a nuisance pest and one harmful to humans on a physical level. Mosquitoes are known for their high-pitched, signature buzzing sound and for the irritating aftereffects of their bite. Theories as to the importance of mosquitoes in the ecosystem of the planet are widely spread, but it is generally agreed that the complete eradication of the mosquito would not cause harmful impact.
Signs of Infestation
If you have areas where rainwater can collect on your property, it is very important that you empty these regularly. Signs of infestation can be seen easily as wriggling larvae in the collected water. They are easily seen by the naked eye. If you or the members of your home are routinely bitten, as evidenced by the characteristic raised, itchy bumps left behind after the mosquito feed, it is a sign that you have a significant population of mosquitoes near you. You may also see large swarms of the male of the species around the time of dusk.
While not all mosquito species lay their eggs directing into water, they all need a significantly moist environment to reproduce. If your home is surrounded by a great deal of swamp or marsh lands, it is very likely that you will have a mosquito population that will be a nuisance. The species that are most harmful to mosquito on a physical level, however prefer to lay their eggs in standing water of any size. All but the adult form of the mosquito is aquatic. The most harmful species of mosquitoes can lay their eggs, hatch and grow to adult in the collected water in a tire or child’s sandbox. Because of the immense variety of species, there are mosquitoes in all parts of the world except Antarctica.
Because there are several different types of mosquitoes, it is important to discover which type of mosquito you are actually dealing with. As there are some species known for preferring a more natural habitat, there are other species that actually prefer to attack humans in their own dwellings. Not all species of mosquitoes feed on blood and of the species that do, very few of them can transmit disease. Of the blood drinking species, it is only the female that feeds on blood. The males of these species generally feed on nectar and other sugars.
Mosquitoes feed by means of a proboscis that they use to penetrate the outer covering of their food source. They then generally feed by sucking up through the proboscis. Mosquitoes generally feed on nectar and other means of sugars but the female of those species that prey on humans must feed on blood to reproduce.
Treatment and Prevention
The main method of preventing mosquito infestations for those species most harmful to humans is to remove their means of reproduction, such as standing water. The homeowner may also treat such areas as birdbaths, ornamental ponds and swimming pools with commercially available products. However, the average homeowner should consider seeking out professional advice on the lest environmentally impactful methods. There are a wide variety of commercial repellents available on the market, but chemical and natural.