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Why do mosquitoes bite?

Females require blood to develop their eggs. Females lay multiple batches of eggs and require a blood meal for each batch. Both male and female feed on fruit juices and plant nectar. Males do not bite. They do not seek blood, only fruit juices and nectar. Generally humans are not the primary target for blood hosts. Mosquitoes feed on humans when the chance presents itself.

 

Why does a mosquito bite welt?
 

When the female mosquito bites she pierces the skin with her mouthparts. She then injects her saliva in the wound before drawing blood. The saliva keeps the blood from clotting in her food canal. The welt that appears is an allergic reaction to the saliva injected during the bite. This allergic reaction causes itching and swelling which subsides within a few hours. In some cases highly sensitive people will see itching and swelling for several days.

 

Do mosquitoes carry diseases?
 
Yes, but not all mosquitoes carry diseases. Only a few are known to pose a threat. Mosquito-borne diseases are caused by human parasites that enter the bloodstream. The female mosquito picks up the parasite when she sucks blood. The parasite then completes a portion of their lifecycle in the mosquito; it either multiplies, changes in form inside the mosquito, or does both. Once again the female will seek a blood meal and transmit the fully developed parasite to its next host. Some diseases spread by mosquitoes to people include: Malaria, Dengue, Yellow fever, St Louis encephalitis, and West Nile. Pets can receive heartworms from mosquitoes as well.

 

Can mosquitoes transmit AIDS?

No. The HIV virus that produces AIDS in humans does not complete its development in mosquitoes. The mosquito treats the virus like food and simply digests it. If a mosquito bites an HIV positive person and then bites a non-infected person an insufficient amount of the virus is transferred. This means there isn’t enough of the virus to cause an infection. The same thing would hold true if an engorged mosquito with HIV positive blood was squashed on your skin.

 

What kinds of pesticides are used to control mosquitoes?
 

There are two different types: larvicides and adulticides. Larvicides are used to control larva or immature mosquitoes. Adulticides are used for controlling adults when they are flying or resting.

 

Are bug zappers and electronic repellers effective?
 
No they are not effective. They reduce the population of all beneficial insects and can attract more insects than the zappers can kill.
 
Are bats and Purple Martins effective at killing mosquitoes?
 
Bats and Martins consume some mosquitoes but not any more than they consume other insects. Basically they don’t consume enough to make a difference.
 
What can I do to prevent mosquitoes around my house?
 
Make sure to change out or discard any standing water at least once a week. Mosquitoes generally take around 7 days to complete their life cycle of egg to adult and need water. If you can’t change out the water or dump it then give us a call and we will send a crew out to inspect the site.