When you imagine spending time outdoors with your family, you probably don’t picture getting eaten alive by pesky mosquitoes. Unfortunately, the mosquito population is abundant in Northern Virginia and that’s often what ends up happening.
Instead of getting to kick your feet up and relax, you might be constantly swatting at pests or soaking yourself and your family in repellent just to be able to spend some enjoyable time outside.
You ought to be able to enjoy some outside time at your own home without constantly having to worry about the threat of mosquitoes. That may be why you’re looking to understand more about these pests, including how you can get rid of them.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the essential facts about mosquitoes that you need to know. By coming to understand what you’re dealing with, you can incorporate effective mosquito control for your Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA home.
Facts about Mosquitoes in Northern Virginia
They may be tiny, but mosquitoes are a big threat when it comes to your family. We’ve rounded up some key mosquito facts so that you can learn more about these pesky and potentially harmful creatures that are likely lurking in your backyard.
1. Mosquitoes Prefer Warm and Humid Climates
Generally speaking, most mosquitoes can survive in temperatures between 50 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Research has shown that the number of mosquitoes in Virginia continues to rise and our climate is likely a big part of the problem.
Our mosquito season generally begins in April and goes through the late fall, depending on how long it stays warm.
2. Asian Tiger Mosquitoes Cause the Most Bites in Virginia
According to the Virginia Department of Health, the Asian Tiger Mosquito is the most common culprit of mosquito bites in our region.
Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are considered to be “container breeders,” because their aquatic breeding habits are strictly comprised of artificial containers holding water such as buckets, plastic cups, trash can lids, plastic plant trays, bird baths, children’s pools, clogged roof gutters, and even tree holes (knots in the tree).
3. Mosquitoes can Transmit Deadly Diseases
Mosquito-borne diseases are those that are spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. These include the Zika virus, West Nile virus, Dengue, and Malaria, among others. There are at least 43 species of mosquitoes found to carry West Nile in the United States.
It is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. About 1 in 5 people who develop West Nile Virus will develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 in 150 people infected will develop more serious, sometimes fatal, symptoms.
4. Mosquitoes Don’t Only Drink Blood
All adult mosquitoes feed on the nectar of plants to get sugar, which provides the nourishment they need to live. However, female mosquitoes also require a blood meal for protein, in order to produce eggs.
Blood may come from humans or other mammals, birds, reptiles, and some amphibians. Mosquitoes drink about 3 milligrams of blood per feeding.
Facts About Mosquito Control in Northern Virginia
Now that you know a little bit more about mosquitoes, chances are, you’d like to know more about how to get rid of them. Here are some helpful facts in recognizing what mosquito control approaches may work best.
5. Mosquitoes are Weak Flyers
A lot of people assume that mosquitoes are strong flyers but the truth is, they do not fly for long periods of time at once. They most often stay within several hundred feet of where they have hatched, as long as they can continually find a meal in that area. When mosquitoes fly, they land often to rest.
This is why control products can be highly effective at getting rid of mosquitoes in Northern Virginia. When mosquito spray is applied strategically to areas where mosquitoes are likely to stop and rest during flight, they’ll be eradicated before ever making it to you for a meal.
Resting areas generally include wood piles, shrubs, and areas around patios and decks containing landscaping shrubs and small trees.
6. All Mosquitoes Need Water
Of the more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world (about 175 in the United States), they all share a need for water. Water is needed for mosquito eggs to hatch into larvae, called “wigglers.”
Mosquitoes spend their first 10 days in the water, feeding on organic matter in the stagnant water while breathing oxygen from the surface. They will then develop into pupae (which do not feed while partially encased in cocoons), and finally, over a period of several days, evolve into adults.
This is why taking action to clean gutters and overturn any other sources of stagnant water around your property can make a big difference in effective mosquito control at your Alexandria or Arlington, VA home.
7. Bug Zappers are Highly Ineffective Against Mosquitoes
Research has shown that fewer than 1 percent of the bugs killed by electric “zappers” are mosquitoes. These devices generally attract harmless insects like moths. Of course, there are many control tactics that are generally ineffective on mosquitoes including citronella candles, mosquito coils, and mosquito lamps.
Though these are popular “DIY approaches,” they have proven to be only minimally effective, at best. Mosquito traps, which run on propane and batteries, work better but take a while to make a difference on your property. It’s said that this solution can take up to four weeks before you see any noticeable results.
Facts About Mosquito Control Services
Just like not all mosquito control methods or products are created equal, the same is true of companies offering mosquito control services.
8. Not All Mosquito Spray Companies Will Address Contributing Factors
It’s important to choose a company that is going to do more than just spray but will also provide cultural recommendations that will make a difference in reducing your mosquito population. In other words, you can spray all you want but if the root of your mosquito problem is coming from dirty gutters, they’re just going to keep coming back.
This is why it helps to work with a mosquito control company that will not only spray but also understands the underlying causes of what might be creating your mosquito troubles in the first place.
In addition to getting rid of standing water, this also includes keeping your lawn regularly mowed, keeping your shrubs neat and trimmed, and clearing out any debris that has collected in your plant beds. Mosquitoes love places to hide so keeping your property neat and tidy can encourage them to take up residence somewhere else.
9. Not All Products (or Methods) are Created Equal
One of the biggest benefits to working with a professional mosquito spray company in Northern Virginia is their use of high-quality, professional-grade products. Treating your property for mosquitoes with a professional product is the most effective control method.
However, you still need to make sure that you choose a mosquito control company that takes the best approach in order to get the best results. Everything from how and where they apply product to what product they’re using and even how often they’re applying it all matters.
Choosing a Mosquito Control Company in Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA
When it comes to spending more time outdoors with your family, without having to worry, you want to be sure that you’ve chosen a mosquito control company that you can trust to handle your mosquito problem.
After all, it’s your yard. You ought to be able to spend time outside without having to worry about your family’s safety.
By investing in professional mosquito control that you know will work, you can gain that peace of mind that you deserve. That means letting go of those worries and getting back to enjoying time outside.
If you’re ready to stop worrying about the nuisance and dangers of mosquitoes, request a quote, get your customized plan, and sit back and relax as you get the royal treatment.
Image sources: asian tiger mosquito