If you are a Mosquito Authority customer, you know it’s our mission to keep your yard mosquito-free so you can enjoy spending time in your outdoor living space. But sometimes, even in the time of COVID restrictions, you will have the chance to leave your protected property and may encounter some mosquitoes!
If you do have to venture outside, we recommend EPA-approved repellents containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, Picaridin, or IR3535 listed as an active ingredient. For maximum efficacy, we suggest you avoid repellent products which also contain sunscreen.
Wearing loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing can deter mosquitoes from biting you, and if it’s possible, long pants and sleeves help too.
In spite of your best efforts, you may get bitten when you venture out of your yard. Of course, you want to be aware that you are not exhibiting any signs of infection at the site of the bite, or symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases. Those possibilities are rare, but if you have a fever and flu-like symptoms after being bitten, you should follow up with your doctor.
So how do you treat the bite itself? The hardest thing to do is not scratch. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following things to help keep you comfortable and relieve the itching that comes with mosquito bites.
- Apply a lotion, cream, or paste. Calamine lotion or a non-prescription hydrocortisone cream can ease that itch. A homemade paste from baking soda and water can help, too.
- Apply a cool compress. A cold pack, or a cool, moist cloth can help ease the itch after just a few minutes.
- Take an oral antihistamine. If you are having a strong reaction to the bite, you may need a non-prescription antihistamine.
If you have any concerns or questions about your symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to a medical professional.
Mosquito Authority respects the pollinators and beneficial insects which make up our ecosystem. Our Mosquito Control Specialists are trained to avoid treating any areas where pollinators hang out in your yard. We will target non-blooming foliage with our treatment, as that is where adult mosquitoes tend to reside.
Here’s a few fun facts you may not know about pollinators:
- The Honey Bee is not native to the United States, but was introduced from Europe by early European settlers.
- There are more than 4,000 species of bees in the United States many of which are important in pollination.
- Flowers of Yucca plants are not pollinated by bees but by “Yucca Moths”.
- Nectar found in flowers is an important plant-generated incentive to get bees, moths, and birds to serve as pollinators.
- Often the proboscis or “tongue” of a moth or butterfly matches the length of a flower. The proboscis has to be long enough to reach the nectar found in the flower and in doing so, the insect picks up the pollen to be transferred to another flower.
Dr. Craig Stoops LCDR MSC USN (ret.) is a retired U.S. Navy Medical Entomologist who has conducted mosquito control and research in the United States and around the world. Craig wields a B.S. in Biology from Shippensburg University, and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Entomology from Clemson University. He is Board Certified by the Entomological Society of America in Medical and Veterinary Entomology.
Mosquito Authority focuses on taking care of you and your family at your home. We try to educate the public on the potential dangers of mosquito-borne diseases, and suggest ways to rid your outdoor living space of the pests. Mosquitoes transmit diseases to humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife throughout the United States.
In the US, we don’t often talk about the world-wide impact of mosquitoes. Bill Gates proclaimed mosquitoes to be the deadliest animals in the world. “We should keep in mind that the overwhelming toll of mosquito-related illness and death comes from malaria,” he wrote in a blog post in 2016.
Fortunately, the mosquito which carries malaria was eradicated from the US decades ago. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the mosquitoes that spread malaria are found in Africa, Central and South America, parts of the Caribbean, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the South Pacific. Travelers going to these countries may get bit by mosquitoes and get infected.
About 2,000 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States annually, mostly among returned travelers.”
There are many organizations and foundations working toward tools to prevent malaria transmission as well as develop a malaria vaccine. Until malaria is conquered, the mosquito will remain the deadliest animal in the world.
Here are some fun (and not-so-fun) facts about mosquitoes from the American Mosquito Control Association.
- Mosquitoes are known from as far back as the Triassic Period – 400 million years ago.
- They are known from North America from the Cretaceous – 100 million years ago.
- There are about 2,700 species of mosquito. There are 176 species in the United States.
- The average mosquito weighs about 2.5 milligrams.
- The average mosquito takes in about 5-millionths of a liter of blood during feeding.
- Mosquitoes find hosts by sight (they observe movement); by detecting infra-red radiation emitted by warm bodies; and by chemical signals (mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and lactic acid, among other chemicals) at distances of 25 to 35 meters.
- Mosquitoes fly an estimated 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.
- Salt marsh mosquitoes can migrate up to 40 miles for a meal.
- Bigger people are often more attractive to mosquitoes because they are larger targets and they produce more mosquito attractants, namely CO2 and lactic acid.
- Active or fidgety people also produce more CO2 and lactic acid.
- Smelly feet are attractive to certain species of mosquitoes – as is Limburger Cheese.
- Dark clothing has been shown to attract some species of mosquitoes more than lighter colored clothing.
- Movement increased mosquito biting up to 50% in some research tests.
- A full moon increased mosquito activity 500% in one study
Why We Need Mosquito Control
You’ve researched tips and tricks for keeping mosquitoes out of your yard: shrubs to plant, candles to light, sprays to douse yourself in. Those methods may work temporarily, but they will not do anything to reduce the overall mosquito population.
Repellent Versus Elimination
Using spray repellents and other methods to keep a small part of your yard free of mosquitoes are undeniably effective in keeping you comfortable. You will continue to have an abundance of mosquitoes, however, if you don’t work to solve the root of the problem.
Integrated Mosquito Management uses a variety of approaches to control the mosquito population. Combining protocols to eliminate adult mosquitoes with processes which address mosquito eggs and larvae will essentially break the life cycle of the mosquito and control its population.
A Mosquito Authority trained Specialist will walk through your property to seek out areas of standing/stagnant water where mosquitoes lay their eggs. They’ll dump out the water where feasible or use other methods for eliminating eggs and larvae from the area. Our Specialist will also treat the non-blooming foliage and shrubs with a protocol to eliminate adult mosquitoes. This process is repeated every 21 days, as that is the length of the life cycle of the mosquito.
Fewer Mosquitoes Means Less Illness
Eliminating or drastically reducing the population helps minimize the risk of being bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis, two of the more common mosquito-borne illnesses in the United States.
Resources from the American Mosquito Control Association include descriptions of mosquito-borne diseases, a video testimonial from WNV survivors, and view of what the world would look like without mosquito control.
Links to websites