What Attracts The Mosquitoes In Maryland?
Mosquitoes are the pest we love to hate. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single person who likes mosquitoes or has anything good to say about them. Unfortunately, eliminating them entirely is out of the question and even keeping them out of certain areas is an exercise in futility.
However, even though we can’t fully eliminate mosquitoes from our properties, we can learn what attracts them and do everything in our power to make our Maryland yards as uninviting as possible. You may be surprised to learn what some of the things are that mosquitoes are attracted to. If knowledge is power, the following information is sure to help you keep your yard as mosquito-free as possible.
What Are Mosquitoes?
It may seem silly to address the question of what mosquitoes are. After all, if you ask anyone over the age of three, they’ll easily be able to identify a mosquito. However, there are probably some things about mosquitoes that you don’t know.
First, let’s get the obvious facts out of the way. Mosquitoes are small flying insects. They range in color but are typically gray or brown with markings of various colors. Mosquitoes have long, thin legs, one pair of wings, and a long proboscis.
There are over 3500 species of mosquitoes in the world. The three most common species found in Maryland are the Aedes aegypti, commonly called the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes albopictus, commonly called the Asian tiger mosquito, and Culex pipiens, commonly called the common house mosquito.
Despite their notoriety, there are probably some facts about mosquitoes that you were not aware of. For instance, many people think that the main form of sustenance for mosquitoes is blood, but in reality, the main food source of mosquitoes is nectar. Nectar is a source of sugar that provides nourishment for male and female mosquitoes.
When it comes to blood, only female mosquitoes are the guilty party that partakes of this meal. Females require proteins and amino acids to produce eggs. If you have been bitten by a mosquito, you can know with 100% certainty that it was a female mosquito.
A Surprising Fact About Mosquitoes
When you think about mosquitoes, you probably think about how annoying they are. Where there is one mosquito, there are many, and they can make whatever you’re trying to do quite miserable. They buzz around your head, feast on any open area of skin they can find, and typically win the battle by driving you inside your house. But despite how universally despised they are, all of the things mentioned above are not even the worst things about mosquitoes.
If you were asked what the deadliest animal is, what would you say? Sharks? Hippos? Venomous snakes? Although all of those are good guesses, none of them are correct. The deadliest animal in the world is the tiny mosquito.
Mosquitoes are responsible for killing over one million people worldwide every single year. They do this by infecting people with many dangerous diseases. Mosquitoes are carriers of malaria, West Nile virus, Zika virus, dengue, yellow fever, and more. While some of these illnesses are treatable or have only mild symptoms associated with them, others are quite serious and can result in death.
When you realize how dangerous mosquitoes can be, it becomes much easier to understand why avoiding them is important for more than simply avoiding the annoyance of their bites.
You May Be Attracting Mosquitoes Without Realizing It
When it comes to choosing a host, mosquitoes are not equal opportunity biters. Although they will indeed bite anyone, if given the choice they have preferences and are attracted to some people over others.
There is good news and bad news when it comes to what makes a person attractive to mosquitoes. The good news is that you have control over some of these factors. The bad news is that other factors are unavoidable. What are the factors that make you more attractive to mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with Type O blood than they are to people with A, B, or AB blood.
Mosquitoes find some people more attractive due to the bacteria and chemicals, such as lactic acid, found on their skin.
Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with higher metabolic rates because they produce more carbon dioxide.
Similarly, mosquitoes will be more attracted to you during or immediately after exercise because you’ll be emitting more carbon dioxide at these times.
Mosquitoes are also more attracted to pregnant women, probably due to their higher carbon dioxide emissions.
If you’ve been drinking alcohol, you’ll be more attractive to mosquitoes.
If you wear dark clothing, especially the color black, you’ll be more attractive to mosquitoes.
Can You Make Yourself Less Appealing To Mosquitoes?
Although many of the factors mentioned above are out of your hands, not all of them are unable to be changed. You may not be able to change your blood type or chemical make-up, but you can make some simple changes that can help.
Wearing light-colored clothing can help in your attempts to become less noticeable to mosquitoes.
Avoiding alcohol consumption in outdoor settings where mosquitoes are a problem is also advisable.
Although mosquitoes love body odors of all kinds, even ones we would consider unpleasant, it doesn’t hurt to make yourself as neutral-smelling as possible. Avoiding perfumes or heavily scented shampoos, lotions, and deodorants may help lessen your appeal to mosquitoes.
In addition to doing what you can to avoid the things we know overtly attract mosquitoes, there are other steps you can take to try to keep away from mosquitoes. These steps include:
Wearing bug spray that contains DEET when outdoors in areas with large mosquito populations.
Avoiding areas where you know there are large mosquito populations. These include places with areas of standing water, such as ponds, and heavily wooded areas.
Avoiding being outside in the early morning and evening hours, as these are the times of day when mosquitoes are at their most active.
Unfortunately, some of these suggestions are impractical. For instance, during a hot Maryland summer, often the most pleasant times to be outdoors are in the early morning or evening hours. Going hiking usually requires you to be in the woods. Additionally, many people don’t like to wear DEET.
What You Should Do If Mosquitoes Are A Problem On Your Maryland Property
Thankfully, even though you may not be able to avoid mosquitoes everywhere you go, there are ways to make mosquitoes less of a problem on your own property. There is no reason why you should feel like a prisoner in your own home, scared to go outside because you’ll be attacked by a hungry swarm as soon as you walk through the door.
Lessening your mosquito problem starts by assessing your property for the things mosquitoes love. When choosing where to spend their time, mosquitoes look for areas of standing water to lay their eggs and they look for shaded areas where they can rest during the day when the sun is at its hottest.
Even if your property isn’t home to a pond or other water feature, it likely has areas of standing water of which you weren’t even aware of. Mosquitoes only need a small amount of shallow water to hatch and grow. These areas on your Maryland property may include:
Low areas on your lawn or driveway where puddles form
Buckets left outside that collect rainwater
Upturned toys with areas where water can collect
Tires and tire swings
Pool covers that aren’t pulled taut
Pet water dishes
To help lessen the mosquito populations on your property, look for the spots on your property where water has collected, then eliminate as many of them as possible. This not only means dumping out the collected water but also making sure that water won’t collect again the next time it rains. In some cases, such as a tire swing, this may not be feasible. However, you can make a note of these areas and empty them regularly.
In regards to the shaded areas mosquitoes seek out to rest during the hottest parts of the day, there are ways you can make your yard a bit less inhabitable.
Keep your grass trimmed short.
Cut back bushes and shrubs, especially around the perimeter of your house.
Choose your plants wisely. Some attract mosquitoes while others repel them.
Despite taking steps to eliminate standing water and reduce shady areas on your lawn, mosquitoes will likely still find ways to thrive on your property. If you’re finding that they are still a problem, it’s time to contact American Pest.
At American Pest, we have the products, equipment, knowledge, and skills necessary to target the areas where mosquitoes breed and rest where it is not practicable for you to eliminate the water or foliage. We’ll treat these areas with our backpack misting system, using products that target adult mosquitoes in the resting areas and eggs and larvae in the standing water.
With monthly treatments, you can enjoy your Maryland yard without the bothers and dangers of mosquitoes and their bites. Contact us to learn more, to ask questions, or to schedule an inspection. We are here to help in any way possible.
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