Mosquitos: They suck
You don’t need me to tell you that mosquitos are top on the “DO-NOT-INVITE!” list for your next barbeque (close second: newly vegan facebook friends). Honestly though, what do these bloodsuckers really do for anyone? We’re back on mosquitos by the way. Anyone can tell how badly despised these little nuisances are when we try anything to keep the bites away; from sprays and candles to frequency emitting devices and don’t try and tell me you haven’t bought one of those anti-mosquito bracelets! Do they work? Who knows!? There is one thing we all can agree on – Mosquitos suck.
Zika Virus – Heard of it?
Let’s just start with the hot topic of the day, or should I say “Buzz word?” (…I’m sorry). If you pay any attention to the news or, like most of us, get your hard hitting information from the unbiased media outlet of your facebook feed, you are likely convinced that the Zika virus is somewhere buzzing around your backyard ready to infect the first square inch of skin past your screen door. For those of you who only read The Town & Country Pest Solutions blog for all of your relevant news, you shouldn’t, but anyways here is a quick run down.
Zika Virus is, for the most part, not a big deal. Spread either through a bite from a specific type of mosquito or sexually transmitted from infected males to their partners, most people who contract Zika have a slight fever, maybe some joint pain, and a doctor who prescribes a couple of days of NETFLIX and chicken soup. No big deal right? Well, the main concern is for pregnant mothers. A mother infected with Zika can run into severe complications with the development of her child, most importantly microcephaly – a defect that can inhibit brain and head growth.
So yea, not cool, but how much should Americans (specifically in Upstate New York) be worried about Zika? The CDC, as of July 6, 2016, reports that since January 2015 there have been 1,133 reported cases of Zika in America. That seems significant until you learn that EVERY contraction has been due to travel or transmitted sexually from someone who has travelled to an infected area outside of the U.S.
WOMEN OF AMERICA! Men are statistically most likely to give you Zika virus: Not mosquitos!
Ok, it’s still an issue though, as far as we know mosquitos in the U.S. aren’t spreading Zika…yet. America is home to the type of mosquito that can carry the virus and we aren’t immune to the possibility. But hey, chin up America, you still have West Nile Virus to worry about! Actually, not really.
“Why do mosquitos love me so much?!” – Everybody ever
Fine, so you’re probably not about to contract some crazy disease from a mosquito bite. If you are anything like me however, the bites and bumps alone can literally keep you up at night. We all have thrown our arms up in frustration after slapping the 27th mosquito off of our left thigh wondering what is so appealing about you. No, mosquitos don’t have a sweet tooth and you don’t have sweeter blood. Mosquitos do, however, have a few ways of finding you. Mainly you are tracked by your heat signature, your scent and the carbon dioxide you emit. Heavy breathers, pregnant women and people who “run-hot” all are larger targets to receive bites. All of us have a decent heat signature but those of you running around playing ultimate frisbee at the cookout are giving off more heat, CO2 (breathing) and sweat; all of which make you a larger target for our little friends. Please, continue to attract mosquitoes, less for me to have to swat away.
“Where do these Mosquitos keep coming from!?”
I’m glad you asked. Mosquitos tend to hang out in-and-around leafy type plants (shrubberies, bushes, tall grass and even low hanging trees). Why? Unlike vampires and unlike the general assumption, mosquitos don’t feed on your blood and are actually nourished by plant nectar. Your blood is only used to develop eggs, which is why you’ve heard that the females are the only ones that will bite you.
Speaking of eggs, when they’re ready to go, mom will usually drop them off at the pool; well, more specifically the nearest stagnant water. Ponds and swampy areas are perfect to lay eggs in, but even puddles or water trapped in random objects around your backyard would do nicely. Of course, not all species of mosquitos lay eggs in the same manner but, generally speaking, if you live near water and/or plenteous plant life you better have some repellant on hand.
This brings us to prevention and how to minimize your local population.
First, look around your yard; those buckets, tarps and any overturned objects that are filled with water need to be dumped out and dried (Pro tip: you can even blame the kids for leaving their stuff everywhere and make them do it!). Like we talked about already, that standing water is perfect for mosquito eggs to develop into larvae and emerge as adults within as little as 1 weeks time. If you have a pond on your property, consider releasing a batch of top feeding minnows to eat recently laid eggs and prevent a new generation from forming.
Secondly, do the neighborhood kids play in your backyard thinking it’s a jungle? In that case, you may want to borrow a lawn mower and weed whacker for the weekend and start clearing out the overgrown areas on your property. Without those leafy plants or tall grass to hang out on, you would be surprised to see the effect a bit of landscaping could have on your insect population as a whole on your property.
Finally, depending on where your property is located you may be looking out your window at a mosquito paradise. Even after doing a bit of clean up around the outside, you may continue to have to swat skeeters all day and night. Not entirely surprising when given the fact that they can be found miles from their breeding points. What else can be done? It turns out we have a solution.
At Town & Country Pest Solutions we offer mosquito treatment packages that are designed to eliminate the present population and defend against future infestations. With regularly scheduled treatments throughout the season we are able to eliminate at least 75% of your mosquito population in a very short time period with a simple application that is hassle-free on your part. We realize that the bushes and plant life on your property can be ornamental and removal isn’t an option. Perhaps your property backs up to a tree line, what can you do if your nearest neighbors are thousands of hungry mosquitos? Give us a call and we’ll take care of it.
If, while considering to use our services, you do decide to build a Trump-esque wall of citronella torches lining your property, send us a photo because that sounds hysterical!
For further information on mosquitoes and their possible virus transmissions visit the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/