Mosquitoes are the most common and wide-spread of the numerous kinds of bloodsucking insects that annoy man, other mammals, and birds. Some species are annoying in the daytime, though most mosquitoes are evening feeders. They can make potential recreational areas unsuitable and interfere with normal living and business activities. In addition to the economic impact and discomfort attributed to these pests, they successfully transmit a number of disease agents to man.
In Ohio, the primary concern is with several different types of encephalitis that may be transmitted by mosquitoes, as well as a type of filariasis, known as dog heartworm, that may infect our pets. In other areas, mosquitoes may transmit such deadly diseases as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and human filariasis.
Only the female mosquito feeds on blood. Both sexes will feed on nectar and plant juices to obtain the nourishment necessary for flight and other activities. Some mosquito-borne diseases, such as LaCrosse virus, may be passed by infected females to their offspring. In this way, male mosquitoes can become infected and involved in the disease cycle. It has also been discovered that male mosquitoes can transmit disease to uninfected female mosquitoes during the mating process.
Mosquitoes have four distinct stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Water is essential for the larval and pupal stages. It takes about 7 to 10 days for mosquitoes to complete their life cycle during the summer months. The eggs of some mosquito species survive the Toledo-area’s cold winters and hatch in March or April in woodland pools left by melting snow. These mosquitoes will produce only one batch of eggs that will not hatch until the following spring.
The Toledo-area’s most serious pest mosquitoes also live over winter as eggs; and, depending on the frequency of rainfall, may produce several generations of mosquitoes during the summer. Other mosquito species may pass the winter in the adult stage in protected places and later lay their eggs directly on the surface of standing water. These mosquitoes will hatch throughout the summer as new eggs are produced.
Mosquito larvae and pupae may be found in a variety of breeding places:
floodwaters, ditches, storm-sewer catch basins, tree holes, rain barrels,
discarded automobile tires, and in practically all types of artificial
HOW CAN I HELP REDUCE MOSQUITOES IN MY AREA?
You can reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home neighborhood by eliminating places where they lay their eggs. Young mosquitoes are aquatic, and they must have standing water to develop from egg to adult. Here are some simple steps you can take:
REMEMBER: It only takes 4 days of standing stagnant water to breed mosquitoes.
HOW CAN I PREVENT BEING BITTEN BY MOSQUITOES?
These following actions will reduce your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes.
Read and follow label directions especially with products using DEET. Read the ingredients list on the container.