female mosquito biting human

Mosquitoes

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What do mosquitoes look like?

Mosquitoes are common insects, yet it is possible to get them confused with other small, flying insects. There are many species of mosquito and they vary in color and size. What they all have in common is their long proboscis. That is the straw-like mouth of a mosquito that draws blood out. When an insect lands on you, look for this long tube on the front of its head. You may also distinguish mosquitoes by the way they fly. These insects tend to hover in the air as they search for a place to land.   

female mosquito taking a blood meal

Pest Facts

Did you know?

  • Most mosquito species are active at dawn and dusk.
  • Only female mosquitoes bite.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide released when hosts exhale.

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Do all mosquitoes bite?

No. Only female mosquitoes bite. While the males have a proboscis, they use it for sucking nectar out of flowers and sap out of plant stems. The females eat nectar and plant sap as well but will draw a blood meal when they're ready to create eggs.

How far will a mosquito fly to bite you?

Not far. It is not commonly understood, but mosquitoes don't travel from yard to yard in search of someone to bite. They tend to live where they hatch. You'll find them hiding in your bushes and sheltered locations if they hatched on your property. They'll wait in these protected spaces until they detect you. Then, they'll fly a few meters to get onto you and bite you. 

Do mosquitoes prefer certain people?

Yes. Mosquitoes have preferences. There are many factors that influence their preferences. Here are a few ways you may attract mosquitoes more than the person standing next to you:

  • If you're sweating, the chemicals in your sweat, such as lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia, can attract mosquitoes.
  • If you exhale more, due to exertion or pregnancy. Mosquitoes are drawn to carbon dioxide.
  • If your skin temperature is warmer.
  • If you're wearing dark colors.
  • If you have type O blood.
  • If you've had alcohol.

There are many factors that can allow mosquitoes to cause you more trouble than someone else. In many cases, there isn't much you can do about it.

Are mosquitoes dangerous?

Yes. But they are significantly less dangerous in the United States where mosquito abatement is widespread and surveillance is instituted by the government and universities to track outbreaks. But mosquitoes are still able to spread local diseases such as West Nile virus and several other viruses that cause encephalitis. They are particularly dangerous when there is an outbreak of malaria, Zika virus, yellow fever, or some other non-endemic disease.   

What attracts mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes don't choose every yard equally. They have reasons for selecting where they'll live. If you understand these reasons, you may alter conditions to deter these pests. Here are the things a mosquito hopes to find on a property:

  • Flowering weeds filled with nectar and sap
  • Dense vegetation in which to hide from the hot sun
  • Damp conditions or high humidity to ward off dehydration
  • Puddles of water, containers, and other sources of stagnant water for breeding sites

Mosquitoes are not different from other pests. They're looking for food and water and a place to settle down and raise a family, so to speak.

How do I get rid of mosquitoes?

The best way to get rid of mosquitoes is with professional mosquito treatments. Here at Greenway Pest Solutions, we offer seasonal mosquito control in Chandler, Gilbert, and throughout the Phoenix metro that breaks the cycle of infestation in your yard and disrupts mosquito development.

How can I prevent mosquito bites?

Whether you are out in your yard or away from your home, it helps to know some simple steps to prevent these irritating (and potentially harmful) pests from biting you.

Yard Control: 

  • Consider signing up for weed control.
  • Keep your lawn trimmed.
  • Have your gutters cleaned and repaired.
  • Remove weeds and unwanted grass from your landscaping.
  • Cut bushes and shrubs to create space between them.
  • Give your plants only the water they need.
  • Remove containers of water in your yard.
  • Address issues that create puddles for more than a week after it rains.

Personal Control:

  • Wear mosquito repellent. Use a product with oil of lemon eucalyptus if you want a natural repellent. Other natural materials don't last long.
  • Wear bright clothing so that it is harder for mosquitoes to lock onto you.
  • Consider being the designated driver at any outdoor event.
  • Wear clothing with mosquito netting if you need the best possible protection.

If you need assistance with mosquito abatement on your property, contact your Greenway Pest Solutions team for help with mosquitoes in Arizona.

 

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