Information

Overview

There are 174 species of mosquitoes in the US.  Not all bite humans.  Some mosquito species are really annoying, and some also transmit diseases.

How do I get rid of mosquitos in my yard?

Know thy enemy.  Mosquitos breed in water.  Water + 7 days = Mosquitos.  Eliminate standing water.  Fewer containers = Fewer mosquitos.  Minimize containers; empty trash and recycling.  Empty water from containers in your yard every week.  Treat containers that can’t be emptied with insecticide.  Encourage your neighbors to do so too.  Protect yourself and your family.  Wear long, loose fitting clothing.  Use repellents including those with DEET or oil lemon eucalyptus.  Encourage government officials to fund public health programs.

More tips for reducing mosquitos in your yard and neighborhood.

1.  Clean up litter, clogged gutters, clogged basement drains, tires holding water, litter, and drain or remove any other possible containers or pools of standing water.
2.  Birdbaths, flower vases, flowerpots, and the saucers under flowerpots should be tipped once a week.
3.  Store children’s toys indoors or in a way that they cannot collect water.
4.  Use screens on rain barrels.
5.  Maintain vegetation: trim weedy vegetation.
6.  Beware and report inlets to sewers and drainage systems holding stagnant water.
7.  Fill in tree holes and other crevices that can collect water with sand or fine gravel to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in them.
8.  Ponds are great sources for mosquitoes. Use mosquito “dunks” in these and other sources you cannot drain.  Mosquito dunks contain a type of bacteria that only kills insects.
9.  Maintain pools or treat with larvicides.

Mosquito Lifecycle

Mosquitoes go through 4 stages of development and undergo complete metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  Mosquitoes need water to develop.   Most species lay their eggs in stagnant water but some lay eggs near the water’s edge.  Eggs hatch into larva.  The larva are called wrigglers, because they are worm like and wiggle in the water.  Larvae live at the surface of the water and breath air through a tube.  Larva live a few days to weeks before they turn into pupa also called tumblers.  The pupa does not eat, but can swim, or tumble, to avoid predators.  While in the pup the mosquito turns into an adult, breaks out of the pupal case, and craws on the surface of the water.  There it rests while its exoskeleton hardens then crawls to a safe place to spread and dry its wings.  Both the adult males and females feed on nectar.  But only the female ingests blood, which she needs for her eggs to develop.  Adult female mosquitoes live for approximately 2 weeks and lay up to 300 eggs at a crack.  These mosquitoes are weak fliers with only about a 200m lifetime flying radius.  Therefore they are developing close to where they are biting.  Find immature habitats and get rid of them!

Fun Facts

There are over 2,500 species of mosquitoes around the world.  Mosquitoes cause more human deaths than any other living creature.  A mosquito weighs 1/25,000 of an ounce.  Mosquitoes like dark colors over light colors; thus, mosquitoes are more likely to bite a person wearing dark colors.  Mosquitoes can breed in something as small as a bottle cap; they only need 1/8 of an inch of water to breed!  Mosquitoes prefer shady places.  Like humans, mosquitoes are foodies – Some prefer humans while others prefer birds, horses, or frogs.  A female mosquito can produce over 400 million progeny in a single season even if only 25% of each generation survives.