What Attracts Mosquitoes? How to Prevent Mosquito Bites & Keep Them Away in Lorton, VA
Mosquito season is fast approaching and residents all around Virginia are gearing up for another itchy fight with these flying pests. They bother us at our Summer BBQs, on our evening walks and any other time we simply don’t want them around. If you haven’t already begun prepping for mosquito season, there is no better time than now to get a head start before they take up residence in your yard. Deterring mosquitoes from your yard is easier than dealing with an infestation of them. We’re sure you’re tired of dealing with these disease carrying insects, but unfortunately, their presence is inevitable in our state of Virginia. Good news is there are steps you can take to limit their presence around your home, and it all starts with getting ready early.
Mosquitoes are the Deadliest Insects
Did you know that the deadliest creature in the world is in fact the mosquito? Mosquito borne-illnesses claim the lives of more than 2.7 million people every year. That’s more than sharks, lions, wolves, hippos and bears combined! There are more than 3,500 species of mosquito found worldwide.
Mosquito Species & Diseases Such as Zika & West Nile Virus Present in Virginia
The state of Virginia is home to more than 65 different species of mosquitoes. The black-and-white striped Asian tiger mosquito is one of the most common and widespread mosquitoes of concern found in Virginia. Common mosquito borne-illnesses seen here are West Nile virus, Yellow fever, St. Louis encephalitis, Easter equine encephalitis and dog heartworms. However, Zika Virus has been a concern here also in recent years.
Mosquito Lifespan & Life Cycle
A single female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, which is necessary for their survival. The first 10 days of a mosquito’s life are spent in the water, where they feed on the present organic matter and breathe oxygen from the surface. After the course of several days they will emerge from the water as adult flying mosquitoes. The average lifespan of a mosquito is less than two months, that is of course, unless you kill them first. These archaic blood suckers are one of the oldest known species of insects in existence, dating back to the Jurassic period.
What Attracts Mosquitoes to Homes & Yards
Ever wonder why mosquitoes are so attracted to us? It seems like they can see us coming from a mile away! Our skin produces more than 300 chemical odors, most of them smell like a good meal to a mosquito. Every time we sweat, we release a chemical known as octenol which attracts a mosquito from hundreds of feet away. The cholesterol, folic acid, lotions, perfumes and bacteria we carry are also very attractive to mosquitoes. Our woes don’t end there, even the CO2 we emit from our breath, dark clothes and our body heat are all too tempting for these buzzing buggers. Mosquitoes require a blood meal in order to mate successfully, making us and our pets prime targets. We aren’t the only things they are interested in, they want our yards and homes too. Any stagnant water wading around is prime territory for a mosquito to lay their eggs.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
Making your home a force field against mosquitoes starts with ensuring there is no standing water anywhere near your home. This includes gutters, under and around porches, old tires, trash or any other place where water can be hiding. Mosquitoes only need enough water to fill a milk jug cap to lay their eggs. The Center for Disease Control also highly recommends DEET (10%) to be used before heading outside to protect yourself from mosquitoes as well as wear long sleeve, loose fitting and light-colored clothing to decrease your chances of getting bit.
Next, it is highly recommended for you to work closely with an experienced and licensed pest control company like CSI of Virginia to treat your yard, bushes, shrubs, gutters and other areas for mosquitoes and their larvae. CSI of Virginia is a locally licensed pest control agency with years of experience in mosquito control. Call us today to schedule your home’s pest inspection and treatment before the mosquitoes start biting!