They might be small, but mosquitoes can be a huge nuisance when they invade your home. Other than flying around noisily (and keeping you up at night), mosquitoes also bite painfully further adding to your troubles. They are also dangerous disease vectors spreading serious illnesses including West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, and Malaria among others. This makes them some of the deadliest pests in the world.
Mosquitoes are scientifically classified in the group Diptera since they only have a single pair of wings – the source of the sharp, irritating noise they produce as they fly around. These insects can be easily identified by their prominent mouthpart referred to as the proboscis and their long and thin legs.
What do mosquitoes feed on?
All mosquitoes (even those that feed on blood) primarily feed on nectar and plant juices. It’s only the females of particular species that require a blood meal to acquire nutrients needed for egg production. Those that feed on blood have more developed mouthparts that are adapted for piercing the skin of animals.
Several groups of people are more prone to mosquito bites. They include pregnant women, heavy breathers, people that produce more body heat, those with “O” blood type and people that have a lot of bacteria on their skin.
The lifecycle of the mosquito
Mosquitoesgo through four phases of development – Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. Once the female has mated, it will search for animal blood to acquire the nutrients it needs to produce eggs. When it gets the blood meal, the mosquito will then look for standing water where it will lay its eggs. One female mosquito can lay as many as 100 eggs. These will hatch into larvae in as little as 48 hours depending on the conditions.
The larvae will then continue living in water and feed on micro-organisms and other organic matter. They’ll moult several times as they grow and develop and finally turn into pupa.
The pupa stage (also referred to as the resting stage) is where the immature mosquito develops all its distinguishing features. Although at rest, the pupa will occasionally tumble in response to light changes. The pupa will eventually split to release a fully developed mosquito after about 14 days marking the end of the development cycle.
How do I prevent a mosquito infestation?
There’re several preventive measures you can take to keep these potentially dangerous pests out of your home. These include:
- Clearing overgrown vegetation in and around your property and keeping your lawn mowed. These would otherwise provide shelter and food for mosquitoes that will most probably end up inside your home.
- Draining any standing water near your house as this provides good breeding spots for mosquitoes.
- Keeping you doors and windows shut (especially during the night when mosquitoes are most active) if they are not screened.
If mosquitoes are still a problem even after taking these measures, you can get rid of them by:
- Using mosquito traps.Mosquito traps use heat and carbon dioxide as bait for attracting mosquitoes before sucking them into a secure chamber using a powerful fan. They are discreet, effective and ideal for outdoor use.
- Bug zappers. These work by electrocuting the mosquitoes and other undesired bugs to death effectively keeping them out of your hair.
- A good insecticide will kill and repel stubborn mosquitoes keeping your home free of these critters. Using an automatic dispenser with the insecticide will take away the hassle of manual spraying as well as keep your home protected around the clock.