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Pest ID: Mosquitoes

At Combat®, our specialty lies in treating ant and roach problems in and around your house. But we know, especially during certain seasons, there is plenty more that could be bugging you.

Mosquitoes, one of the smallest yet peskiest pests around, are actually small flies closely related to midges and gnats. When we think about mosquitoes, we typically think about high-pitched buzzing around our ears and small, itchy bites. But there’s more to these tiny pests than meets the eye.

Mosquitoes are a type of insect responsible for over 1,000,000 deaths worldwide each year. While male mosquitoes do not have the ability to extract blood from a host, mosquito females must take a blood meal before they can produce eggs. Eggs are deposited on water in a variety of habitats depending on the species of mosquito.  Some types favor land that has flooded, while others are found in salt marshes; some like polluted water such as in storm sewers and others prefer rain-filled locations. Mosquitoes can be found on all continents except Antarctica.

There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world with about 160 in the US. They typically have a preferred host on which they feed, but will also bite almost any animal.  It is this opportunistic behavior that makes them one of the most pesky and dangerous insects to man.

Many of the diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes are also found in birds.  In the US this includes West Nile Virus (WNV), Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE), to name the most common.  Few people (the elderly, very young and immune compromised) will develop severe cases of these diseases.

The best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites is to wear repellent and to empty any containers that have may have collected rainwater.  In the US, there are several species of mosquitoes that will transmit WNV, but the greatest risk is from those species that breed in polluted water like rain-filled tires, buckets, tarps, clogged gutters, birdbaths and many other places.  Make sure to empty any collected rainwater within one week and to flush birdbaths with clean water on a weekly basis.

Use the information above and these simple procedures to help to protect you and your family from contracting a mosquito-borne disease.