3 Things You Probably Don't Know About Mosquitoes In Maryland
Most people know what a mosquito is, but few people know enough about mosquitoes to properly protect themselves and their families from these dangerous pests. Today, we're going to take a look at three things you probably don't know about mosquitoes in Maryland (or that you might not know enough about). Hopefully, they will give you some insight to help you better protect the ones you love.
How Maryland Mosquitoes Spread Diseases
Mosquitoes aren't born with diseases. They get them from mammals. They may pick a disease up from a human or they could get it from a bird or a furry critter. When a mosquito contracts a virus, it incubates inside her stomach and then moves to her saliva glands. When she lands on you and uses her saw-like mouthparts to poke into your skin, she will inject her saliva into the wound. She does this because her saliva contains an anticoagulant that allows the blood to flow freely from the capillaries in your skin without causing a discomfort that would cause you to swat her. This injection of saliva is how diseases spread from mosquitoes to humans. So basically, mosquito-borne diseases are caused by mosquito spit. This is important to understand because all mosquitoes aren't capable of spreading all mosquito-borne diseases. Knowing which mosquitoes are the most dangerous can assist in developing control methods.
The Mosquitoes of Maryland
In our service area, we have three primary mosquito species that are a disease concern. They are the Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito), Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) and Culex pipiens (common house mosquito). These three species spread West Nile virus, Dengue fever, yellow fever, Chikungunya, Zika virus, several forms of encephalitis and more. Here's how we work to control them.
- Aedes mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Controlling stagnant water resources and introducing larvicide to stagnant water can have a big impact on the populations of these mosquitoes.
- Common House Mosquitoes, which can spread West Nile virus, lay eggs in stagnant water but are also able to breed on damp ground. This is why they are so common.
- Treating moist, shaded areas around homes works to repel and eliminate these species.
Why Maryland Mosquitoes Bite Us
There has been a lot of study on this topic because if we can figure out why mosquitoes are attracted to us, and who they are most attracted to, we may be able to stop them from choosing us over other animals. This would essentially stop the spread of more than 7 deadly diseases that claim the lives of nearly a million people every year.
Understanding why mosquitoes bite us begins with knowing that it is only female mosquitoes that bite. They require protein to create babies. Since they can't eat a steak, they draw blood out of warm-blooded animals to get the protein they need.
When a female searches for a blood meal, the first thing she senses is carbon dioxide in the air. She can sense this from quite a distance. When she gets closer, she smells body odors and will pick up on certain chemical scents that are most appealing. It is at this point that she will begin to detect the warmth coming from exposed skin and attempt to land. She has poor eyes, so she will fly low and use the darkness of her target against the brighter sky to zero in. Once she lands, she will feel right at home on skin that is moist because she requires high humidity to survive. Understanding what that female mosquito is looking for could give you insight into why you may be chosen over someone else at a cookout.
One More Thing You Should Know That You Might Not Know
These dangerous species of mosquitoes don't travel far in their lifetime. For example, an Asian tiger mosquito won't travel more than a few hundred feet from where it hatched. That means the mosquitoes that bite you in you Maryland yard are likely mosquitoes that hatched in your yard. This is why residents who invest in mosquito control service for their yards often see dramatic results.
If you need assistance with mosquito control for your home, connect with us. Our seasonal Mosquito & Tick Control service works to effectively reduce and eliminate mosquitoes and ticks around Maryland homes. Reach out to us today to schedule a free in-home estimate. We'll help you get the protection you need to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases and make your yard a whole lot nicer to hang out in.
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