How DC-Area Residents Can Prepare Their Properties Against Mosquitoes This Summer
Thousands of species of mosquitoes inhabit the earth, although only about 150 species call the United States home. Mosquitoes feed on nectar like many other insects but female mosquitoes will also feed on the blood of humans and animals to assist with egg production. Mosquitoes typically emerge from their daytime resting places to feed primarily at dawn and dusk. While the male mosquito does not have mouthparts suited to piercing human skin, the female does. Female mosquitoes will use their mouthparts to puncture skin and inject saliva into the wound to prevent the blood from clotting. The discomfort, irritation and swelling from a mosquito bite is the result of the body’s immune response to this saliva. The blood meal taken by the female is used to supplement her diet with essential proteins and iron which she uses (along with carbohydrates derived from plant nectar) to assist in the development of her eggs. Mosquitoes in urban areas may lay eggs in ornamental ponds, rain gutters, bird baths, rain collection barrels, and other surfaces capable of holding water.
Mosquitoes breed on or near standing water. This ultimately means that any source of standing water may become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Because the female mosquito only requires a thin film of water in which to lay her eggs, tin cans, bird feeders, watering cans, old discarded tires, and clogged gutters may harbor these unpleasant pests. Mosquitoes are also known to travel as much as 20 miles in search of a blood meal, so it is safe to presume that they may also become problematic where no water source can be located.
Mosquitoes are well known as transmitters of disease and illness to humans, domestic animals and wildlife as well as causing irritation, discomfort and frustration. Among the viruses known to be carried by mosquitoes are:
West Nile virus
For more information about the Zika virus from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene click here. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also has information on their website regarding Zika in the United States. View their site by clicking here.
Mosquitoes also pass on Canine Heartworm to domestic animals. This disease is a huge concern for pet owners across our region. Protecting your family and pets from mosquitoes that spread disease requires a thoughtful, innovative approach to pest management.
Reducing the instances of mosquito bites and breeding areas can be an extremely frustrating task for any property owner. Homeowners in Washington DC, Baltimore, and elsewhere in Maryland and Virginia can call in American Pest to take control of the situation and let our highly trained staff begin by making a detailed inspection of your property. From here, we will consult with you to create a customized mosquito control solution to ensure that your mosquito problems are taken care of as quickly and effectively as possible. Contact us today for more information.
Do-It-Yourself methods of mosquito control are generally labor-intensive. It is a time-consuming and tedious task to seek out all of the potential mosquitoes breeding grounds and shaded resting areas. Once located, implementing the correct mosquito control option is critical to the success of any mosquito mitigation program. To help plan your mosquito-free summer event, American Pest has compiled these DIY Tips to Mosquito Control.
At American Pest we pride ourselves on our speed and delivery of service. For that reason we will make every effort to be with you the same or very next day.
Your health and safety is our number one priority. That’s why we only use products that have been registered by the EPA for pest control use. American Pest voluntarily supports the EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) and is recognized as a champion within our industry. Our service personnel will work with you to customize a mosquito treatment plan that suits your individual needs, utilizing our innovative S.T.A.R. approach to integrated pest management.
Preventing mosquitoes can be very difficult but there are some measures that can be taken to minimize the risk of future problems:
Check frequently for standing water and flush bird baths and rain barrels at least once per week
Keep lawns well-maintained to prevent adult mosquitoes from resting in tall grasses
Maintain aeration system or fountains in ornamental ponds (inhibits development of mosquito larvae)
Inspect rain gutters for inadequate drainage
Replacing dense, low-growing perennial plants such as Ivy and Pachysandra with natural strong-scented or herbaceous perennials such as Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, or Catnip
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