Mosquitos belong to the family Culicidae and are commonly known as “mozzies”. They are small insects which are covered in tiny scales and have a single pair of wings, long thin legs and a head featuring a prominent nose called a proboscis. The adults range in size from 3mm-9mm and are often mistaken for flies.
- Mosquitos can be extremely aggravating. They pester you when barbequing, mowing the lawn and trying to sleep with their high pitch noise and itching bites. Their annoying high pitch buzzing sound comes from the vibrations of the rapid beating of their wings. Mosquitos can be more than just a nuisance as they carry a myriad of infectious diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and encephalitis that can be extremely harmful to you and your family.
- Mosquitos are attracted to humans by the carbon dioxide we exhale when breathing. The female feeds off the blood of humans and animals, using her long proboscis to penetrate the skin and draw blood, which she uses to help generate her eggs. Only the female feeds off blood. The males feed off nectar and plant juices. When a female mosquito inserts her proboscis through the skin and draws blood, her saliva creates a small red bump around the bite mark which develops into an itching welt on the skin. People have different reactions to bites, ranging from mild irritation to intense inflammation and swelling. Babies and small children are the most at risk as secondary infections from scratching the bite areas are common.
- Water is essential for the breeding and for the life cycle of mosquitos. This can range from large areas of standing water to small stagnant puddles, and from pure mountain water to sewerage. A thimbleful of water is enough for them to live and breed, making them very hard to control.
- There are 4 stages to the life cycle of mosquitos: Eggs – Larvae – Pupae – Adults
- The female lays her eggs in standing pools of water, about 100 at a time. After hatching, the larvae (called Wigglers) live just below the water surface, hanging by siphon tubes for breathing while feeding on organic matter in the water. They moult 3-4 times prior to reaching the pupae stage (called Tumblers). The pupae stage lasts for only two days and then the pupal skin splits and the adult emerges onto the water surface where their exoskeleton hardens. The life cycle of a mosquito lasts approximately 10-15 days.
- Mosquitos are most active from dusk to dawn, especially during the warm summer months. They do not like to be active in the hot sunshine as they may desiccate and die. However, they can become active with sufficient cloud cover or in dark shady areas. To prevent being bitten by mosquitos, wear loose fitting long shirts and pants if you are spending lengthy periods outside. Also, mosquitos are not attracted to khaki or beige coloured clothes. Repellents such as citronella oil and mosquito sprays will also assist in keeping them away. Make sure that insect screens on doors and windows fit tightly and have no holes. Eliminate breeding sites by emptying standing water from objects around the home, including flower pots, buckets, tyre swings and children’s wading pools when not in use. Regularly change the water in pet bowls and bird baths.
- It is impossible to completely illiminate mosquitos altogether as they can come over from your neighbour’s house, from nearby parks and rivers or from other water sources that cannot be controlled. But by reducing and controlling the breeding sites, this will reduce the number of eggs that can be laid and hatched in your yard which will significantly reduce the amount of mosquitos.
- Mosquito treatments by PEST-ZAP have been proven to reduce this aggravating and annoying pest to an acceptable level. Our service includes a thorough application of insecticides to leaves, shrubbery and other areas where adult mosquitos tend to land and rest. Larvicides may also be used in standing water to stunt the growth of mosquito larvae before they become biting adults.
An experienced and qualified PEST–ZAP technician is trained to control mosquito infestations on your premises and to advise you how to keep your home or business mosquito free.
“the bug stops here” Tel: 0435 510 218