Delta Pest Control & Lawn Service  
El Paso Texas and Southern New Mexico
Pest Control, Lawn-Tree Care, Landscaping and More!
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MOSQUITOES (Culicidae - Wigglers - Tumblers - Skeeters)
Behavior - Threats - Prevention

 
  INTEGRATED MOSQUITO MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
   
Assessment of the mosquito problem (initial surveys and background research).
   
Continual surveillance of the problem as the program proceeds.
   
Implementation of a multi-tactic control program based on the operational needs.
   
Continual evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the program.
   
Changes in tactics and/or their execution when needed.
   
  DID YOU KNOW?
   
Some experts consider the mosquito the deadliest creature on planet earth.
   
In 2012, one-third of all reported West Nile Virus cases occurred in Texas.
   
Only the female mosquito bites and the blood extracted is used solely for egg production.
   
The red bump and itching caused by a mosquito bite is actually an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva.
   
Studies show that some mosquitoes can ignore repellents over time and repeated exposure.
   
Some mosquito species inhabit freezing locations such as the Arctic Circle.
   
Mosquitoes eat nectar and other plant sugars for nourishment; not blood as widely believed.
MosquitoFew animals on Earth evoke the antipathy that mosquitoes do. Their itchy, irritating bites and pervasive presence have ruined many a backyard barbecue or outdoor gathering. They have an uncanny ability to sense our intentions, taking flight and disappearing milliseconds before we can swat them. And in our bedrooms, the persistent, whiny hum of their buzzing wings can wake the soundest of sleepers.

DISEASE CARRIERS
There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide, with 174 of these species occurring in North America, and at least 85 mosquito species are know to inhabit Texas. Beyond the nuisance factor, mosquitoes are carriers, or vectors, for some of humanity’s most deadly illnesses. Mosquito-borne diseases cause millions of deaths worldwide every year with a disproportionate effect on children and the elderly. Three mosquito species bear primary responsibility for the spread of human diseases. (1) Anopheles mosquitoes are the only species known to carry malaria. They also transmit filariasis (also called elephantiasis) and encephalitis. (2) Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and the West Nile virus. (3) Aedes mosquitoes, carry yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.

Mosquitoes transmit disease-causing pathogens in a variety of ways. In the case of malaria, parasites attach themselves to the gut of a female mosquito and enter a host as she feeds. In other cases, such as yellow fever and dengue, a virus enters the mosquito as it feeds on an infected human and is transmitted via the mosquito’s saliva to a subsequent victim. Birds are the most common reservoir host for West Nile virus and mosquitoes readily transfer WNV between infected birds and the human population through their blood sucking practices.

MOSQUITO ACTIVITY
Adult mosquitoes prefer to be most active from dusk until dawn but can also become vigorous with sufficient cloud cover or in dark shady areas. To home in on a prospective blood meal, mosquitoes can detect their victims exhaled carbon dioxide, body odors, temperature, and movements. Only the female mosquito has the piercing-sucking mouth parts necessary for extracting blood. When biting with their proboscis, the female mosquito stabs two tubes into the skin: one to inject an enzyme that inhibits blood clotting; the other to suck blood into their bodies. The mosquito will use the extracted blood not for her own nourishment but instead as a source of protein for her eggs. After mating, females typically seek a blood meal.

Mosquito season can start as early as April and can last nearly all year in warm climates, but July through September are prime mosquito months in most areas. Experts say warmer winter temperatures combined with dry weather may create the perfect storm for mosquito breeding. Mosquito eggs usually don't survive freezing temperatures and a mild winter can help to perpetuate this embryonic stage. More mosquito eggs will subsequently hatch following a change in season which brings rains and warmer weather. The worst mosquito seasons historically come after droughts.

MOSQUITO MANAGEMENT
All mosquitoes need water to breed, so eradication and population-control efforts usually involve removal or treatment of standing water sources. Targeting only adult mosquitoes does little to affect the overall mosquito population. Effective mosquito control is accomplished through the practice of integrated pest management which is based on the use of a multitude of control tactics and requires a basic understanding of the biology, ecology and the behavior of the different mosquito species. Pest control experts practice the most efficient methods of mosquito control, including targeting mosquito adult resting areas and addressing possible breeding areas. However, global efforts to stop the spread of mosquitoes are having little effect, and many scientists think global warming will likely increase their number and range.

Because of the serious health concerns related to mosquitoes, anyone experiencing a problem should investigate around their home for breeding sites, particularly near standing water, and eliminate them accordingly. If the problem persists, contact a licensed pest management professional like Delta. Treatment begins with an inspection of potential breeding sites and the education the consumer about how to remove them. Delta's multi-tactic eradication approach may include: power spray application of insecticides to leaves, shrubbery and other areas where adult mosquitoes tend to land and rest; larvicides used in standing water to stunt the growth of mosquitoes’ offspring before they become adults; and fogging to thoroughly penetrate the mosquitoes nesting and breeding grounds.

 
 
Mosquito Life Cycle
THE MOSQUITO LIFE CYCLE
All mosquitoes must have water in which to complete their life cycle. A mosquito will undergo a complete metamorphosis and have four distinct states in their life time. The life cycle of mosquitoes is comprised of the egg, larval, pupal and adult stages. Eggs hatch into larvae within 24 to 48 hours. In seven to 10 days, larvae enter the pupal stage and then it takes about two days before the pupal turns into an adult. Male mosquitoes live between 1-2 weeks, while females live for up to a month.
REVEAL / CONCEAL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
Mosquito Life Cycle
 
EGG STAGE
The egg stage is the embryonic phase of a mosquito's life cycle. In this stage, the mosquito embryo completes its development and forms into the first larval stage. When first deposited, mosquito eggs are white in color, but immediately begin to darken to a black coloration withing 30 minutes of deposition. Female mosquitoes lay roughly 100-150 eggs per cycle, and can have up to 10 cycles in a lifetime. Incubation usually occurs within 2-5 days although some eggs have proven to be viable up to seven years later.

LARVAL STAGE
Mosquito larvae appear worm-like and are commonly called "wigglers" or "wrigglers". They generally live in still, stagnant water from 7 to 14 days depending on water temperature. Most larva feed on algae and small water organisms but some eat other mosquito larvae. Mosquito larvae must come to the surface at frequent intervals to obtain oxygen. The larva are extremely sensitive and will submerge for protection if they sense disturbance. During growth, the larva will molt (sheds its skin) four times. The stages between molts are called instars.

PUPAL STAGE
Mosquito pupae, commonly called "tumblers", must live in water from 1 to 4 days, depending upon species and temperature. The pupa is lighter than water and therefore floats at the surface. When it is disturbed it dives in a jerking, tumbling motion and then floats back to the surface. The pupa does not eat. The metamorphosis of the mosquito into an adult is completed within the pupal case. When fully developed, the adult mosquito splits the pupal case and emerges to the surface of the water where it rests until its body can dry and harden.

ADULT STAGE
All adult mosquito species have a single pair of scaled wings and a head featuring a prominent proboscis. Mosquitoes have slender bodies with long, thin legs. While their size varies by species, most mosquitoes are smaller than 15 mm in length and weigh less than 2.5 mg. Although mosquitoes appear fragile, they are extremely resilient insects whose females may draw blood from a variety of animals. They do not prefer to be active in direct sunlight since they may dessicate and die.
 
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Mosquito Control
INEFFICIENT MOSQUITO CONTROL
Pest control experts utilize the most effective, long-term methods of mosquito control, including targeting mosquito adult resting areas and addressing possible breeding areas. Three common but somewhat improficient mosquito control techniques used by the general public are: mosquito repellents, mosquito zappers and mosquito traps.
REVEAL / CONCEAL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
Mosquito Repellents   Mosquito Zappers   Mosquito Traps
     
MOSQUITO REPELLENTS
Mosquito repellents (available as aerosols, creams, lotions and sticks) can be effective at temporarily keeping mosquitoes away. Protection generally lasts a few hours, and periodic reapplication is necessary if remaining outdoors. Repellents only provide short-term relief and mosquitoes are not always driven away. Studies have found that some mosquitoes can ignore repellents over time and repeated exposure.

Citronella oil (used in candles, torches and mosquito coils) produces mosquito-repelling smoke. In outdoor conditions with calm winds, citronella can be an effective repellent. However, citronella is not as effective as mosquito repellents applied directly to clothing or skin.

MOSQUITO ZAPPERS
Mosquito zappers are electric devices that lure mosquitoes as well as other flying insects - electrocuting them when they touch an electro-statically charged killing grid. Although mosquito zappers are commonly marketed to treat heavy mosquito populations, they are not fully effective because targeting only adult mosquitoes does little to reduce the overall mosquito population.

Other drawbacks to zappers are: they require frequent cleaning, they are potentially dangerous to children and pets, and less than 1% of dead bugs lying in the bottom of bug zappers are biting insects, like mosquitoes. Most of the insects fried in these devices are doing us no harm whatsoever, and may even be beneficial.
MOSQUITO TRAPS
Mosquito traps use a variety of attractants to lure in the female mosquito. Because mosquitoes are attracted to our body heat and the carbon dioxide we exhale, many traps use propane as a heat source and the emission of CO2 as an allurement. Other traps might utilize octenol or other artificial smells and lighting displays to entice mosquitoes.

Once mosquitoes get close to a trap, fans capture and force them into catch basins or bags or onto sticky boards to die. Mosquito traps can be effective in killing a large number of mosquitoes, giving homeowners a sense of satisfaction. However, traps often attract a greater number of mosquitoes into the area and ultimately do little to reduce the overall population.
 
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5869 Waycross Ave. • El Paso, Texas 79924
phone: (915) 751-7500 • fax: (915) 751-2630
e-mail: deltapcl@sbcglobal.net
 
   
             
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