When we think of mosquitoes in Texas usually the first image to pop in our head is a creature that is close to the size of a helicopter with the eating style of a blood hungry vampire. There just isn’t much good we can say about mosquitoes. They can ruin a perfect afternoon picnic, barbecue, neighborhood walk, outdoor concert, or even a quiet nap in the hammock.
Dangers Caused by Mosquitoes
There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide. Mosquitoes act as vectors, or carriers of viruses and parasitic diseases such as Malaria, Encephalitis, Filariasis, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, and more recently in the news the Zika Virus. Some of these can cause serious illness to birth defects or even death. Over 725,000 deaths a year are contributed to mosquitoes worldwide.
Mosquitoes can also pose a serious health risk to pets. Microscopic baby heartworms, called microfilaria are picked up by mosquitoes feeding on animals already infected by heartworm disease. The microfilaria will mature into “infective stage larvae”, inside the mosquito. When the mosquito feeds on a dog, cat or other susceptible animal, the infected larvae are deposited on the animal's skin. The infected larvae then enter the new host through the mosquitoes bite wound. After about 6 months infected larvae will reach maturity. The now adult heartworm can live between 5 and 7 years in dogs and 2 to 3 years in cats.
Heartworm disease in cats is much different than in dogs. Most heartworms will not reach the adult stage in cats. Many cats with heartworm disease will go unnoticed. Even though adult heartworms in cats are rare, heartworms still cause a condition called “HARD” or Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease. Heartworm medicine for dogs is not effective for cats. Prevention is the only method to protect your cat. See your cat’s veterinarian for best methods of protection.
For more information on heartworm disease caused by mosquitoes click this link
The life cycle of Mosquitoes
It’s important to know how mosquitoes breed, where they breed, and how to treat. Mosquitoes go through a complete metamorphosis. They start as eggs laid in stagnant water then develop into larvae, then pupa. The adult mosquito emerges from water, dries off its wings and body, allows body parts to harden and, when ready, takes off. A few days later the adult mosquito will be ready for blood feeding and mating.
Besides extreme cold climates, mosquitoes can live just about anywhere. Mosquitoes thrive in hot humid environments, which is why they love the Houston area so much. They love forests, marshlands, and any other area with vegetation or standing water. Around homes, you can find mosquitoes under bushes, decks or near any sitting water. This includes children’s wading pools, flowerpots, overwatered flower beds, and gardens. Mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to lay eggs in or near.
Mosquito control generally requires more than chemical treatments or fogging of the yard. When you contact us one of our technicians will do a complete and thorough assessment of your property and identify areas of concern as well as the best treatment options. This could be something as simple as a wheelbarrow, under a deck, clogged gutter, over watered mulch bed, or even that bird bath that isn’t being cleaned and refilled every day. The technician will take care of the problems he can and point out things the homeowner may need to take care of as well. Using a special backpack blower system the Grand Slam Pest Control technician will then treat plants, shrubs, under decks and porches – anywhere that might be harboring mosquitoes. You will see best results if started at the beginning of mosquito season (usually March) and carried through the end of mosquito season (typically October or early November depending on weather). For bests results we highly recommend neighbors also treat for mosquitoes as well. We also offer one-time treatments for those outdoor events / parties to help them be more enjoyable.
For more information on our Mosquito control programs click the link below or give us a CALL TODAY!!
If you have a mosquito problem in your yard or place of business or want to just try and control / prevent them we strongly recommend contacting a professional pest control company such as Grand Slam Pest Control. We do NOT advise attempting to utilize DIY chemical application as these chemicals can cause environmental damage and/or health issues if not utilized properly.