We have all experienced it: the pink welts, the incessant itch, and the swatting and shooing during an outdoor event. In the tropical climate of West Palm Beach, mosquitoes can suck the fun out of your South Florida summer. Worse, they can be incredibly dangerous. Empire Pest Defense is here to provide information and tips to prevent mosquitoes from hanging out near your West Palm Beach property.
There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes living on every continent except Antarctica. Mosquitoes belong to the order Diptera, the order that contains flies. The name “mosquito” means “little fly.” Just like flies, they have long, segmented bodies and six legs. Mosquitoes vary widely in coloration from white or silver to brown or blue. They also have a four-stage life cycle. But mosquitoes have something flies don’t, a long proboscis. The proboscis is a long syringe that pierces their victim’s skin so they can withdraw blood.
Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite? Female mosquitoes are to blame for our discomfort. While both female and male mosquitoes maintain a diet of nectar, female mosquitoes seek blood donors in order to produce eggs. The eggs need the nutrients from a female mosquito’s blood sac to develop.
Wonder why you don’t feel a mosquito biting you? Mosquitoes are equipped with a unique toolkit. First, they find humans by detecting their carbon monoxide emissions and their body odors. Second, they contain a special anticoagulant in their saliva that puts your senses on pause long enough for them to puncture your skin and get a nice meal without your body clotting the blood and sounding alarms. These mosquito bites put you and your loved ones at risk.
The Most Dangerous Insects On The Planet
Mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on the planet. Each year, mosquitos cause over one million deaths by transferring diseases to humans. Twelve of the 200 U.S. species of mosquitoes can carry diseases. Of these diseases, the most common in the U.S. is West Nile virus, an illness that causes body aches, vomiting, and fatigue. A small percentage of at-risk victims will develop serious symptoms and die as a result.
Eastern equine encephalitis is another concerning disease that causes brain infections along with fever, chills, and fatigue. While there are just a few reported cases of this each year in the U.S., these cases are in the Gulf Coast where 30% of those cases result in death. Survivors report issues with neurological functioning. Keeping them off your property is key to the safety of your home and community.
Deterring Mosquitoes Around Your Property
Mosquitoes are attracted to warm and moist habitats. Being able to identify and eliminate factors that can attract mosquitoes to your property will decrease your chances of having these unwelcome visitors. We’ve included some of our top tips for decreasing mosquitoes in your yard.
- Remove standing water from your property: Mosquitoes love moisture. They also lay their eggs in water. Dump out pet water and birth baths. Cover rain barrels. Empty flower pots after heavy rainfall.
- Maintain screens: To prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your house, install screens on your windows and doors. If you have screens, repair any ripped screens to keep the mosquitoes out!
- Wear protection: Using insect repellent with DEET can ward off mosquitoes. Wearing long sleeves, tightly weaved clothing, and long pants can help guard your skin from easy access. Avoid wearing strong odor such as colognes or scented deodorants as they can attract mosquitoes.
When You Need The Experts
Are you overrun with mosquitoes? For more information or to get signed up for a mosquito-protection plan, contact the mosquito experts at Empire Pest Defense.