The sunshine state has more than eighty species of mosquitoes. Thanks to the warm climate and abundance of water, Florida has more varieties of mosquitoes than any other state. Luckily many of those species are not considered pests for humans or animals. Only thirty-three species of mosquitoes found in Florida are considered pests, and just thirteen of those are potentially dangerous.
Of the thirteen species of mosquitoes that are considered dangerous to humans or animals, the most common risk is the transmission of diseases. Depending on the species, mosquitoes can transmit illnesses like Malaria, Yellow Fever, Zika virus, certain types of encephalitis, and canine heartworm.
Typical Behavior of Mosquitoes
Contrary to popular belief, most mosquitoes do not feed on blood for primary nutrition. If you have ever wandered into a wooded area at dusk without your bug spray, you might be questioning this claim. But it is true; both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and water for nutrition.
Some species of female mosquitoes require a blood meal for reproduction. Specifically, they require the high protein content found in humans and some species of animal blood to produce eggs. Some experts believe that mosquitoes are attracted to sweat or bacteria on the skin and then choose to feed on their host to satisfy their need for a blood meal.
For most people, these feedings result in a mild reaction that causes an itchy bump at the site of the feeding. In rare cases, more severe complications occur like an allergic reaction, the transmission of a disease, or gross blood loss from a feeding swarm.
Habits vary by species, but most mosquitoes tend to feed at certain times of the day. Many species throughout Florida will feed at night, which makes outdoor activities at dusk and dark likely to encounter this pest.
Where Mosquitos (in Florida) are Found
Many species of mosquitoes are found state-wide in Florida, as well as across many other areas in the United States. But, being a sub-tropical region, Florida hosts some unique species of mosquitoes that are secluded to the southern counties like Dade, Palm Beach or Monroe counties or in the Florida keys.
Different species of mosquitoes are either water-breeders or tree-hole-breeders. This classification identifies where you might be likely to find a congregation of mosquitoes, or more specifically, habitat elements that you can eliminate to get rid of unwanted mosquitoes.
Standing water like that found in bottles or containers or poorly maintained swimming pools provides the perfect breeding ground for water-breeders. Similarly, poorly maintained trees provide a hospitable environment for tree-hole-breeders.
Dangers of Mosquitos
While the most common ailment that a mosquito bite presents is a mildly unpleasant itchy bump, the threat of hidden dangers from communicable diseases is significant throughout the state of Florida.
Some potentially serious viral infections like Yellow Fever, Dengue Virus, and West Nile Virus can lead to meningitis or encephalitis complications that have a high death rate. These viruses start with more mild symptoms like fever, and flu-like symptoms and, in some cases, will continue to progress without recovery.
Protection from Mosquitoes
The most immediate way to protect yourself from mosquito bites is to use an effective chemical repellent on your clothing. The CDC recommends mosquito repellent containing DEET as one of the most effective methods of deterring mosquito bites.
In addition to the use of mosquito repellant sprays, good housekeeping practices in your yard can deter mosquito breeding. Flush out bird baths every few days, maintain a clean and chemically-balanced swimming pool, repair leaking outdoor faucets, and aerate ornamental ponds to reduce populations.
How Impact Pest Elimination Can Help
Let the professionals at Impact Pest Elimination evaluate your property and identify potential trouble areas for mosquitoes. We will help you monitor current issues and prevent future issues with minimal exposure to pesticides through our mosquito control program.