Everyone knows how miserable it is to have a bunch of mosquitoes buzzing around their personal space – and we do mean everyone. Mosquitoes are just about everywhere on Earth, from Alaska to Australia. In fact, there are only two places in the whole world that have zero mosquitoes: Antarctica and Iceland. A lot of scientists attribute Iceland’s lack of mosquitoes to its isolation from the rest of the world, so now that there’s a lot of trade and tourism in the country, they may not keep their mosquito-free status for long!
While New Jersey will probably never be mosquito-free, your property doesn’t have to be full of these buzzing, dangerous pests. Below, we’ll talk about a few interesting facts about mosquitoes, the dangers they pose, and how to keep them at bay.
Mosquito Fast Facts
As annoying as they are, mosquitoes are still an interesting lot. Let’s take a look at a few facts about them:
- Mosquitoes don’t feed primarily on blood. That’s right – mosquitoes actually feed mostly on nectar, making them important pollinators.
- Only female mosquitoes bite, and they only do so when they need to get enough protein to lay their eggs.
- There are around 3,500 mosquito species in the world and so many individuals, their number is not countable. That leaves plenty of female mosquitoes to fly around biting people!
- The word “mosquito” originated in the Americas back in the 16th century. It’s a word of Spanish or Portuguese origin, meaning “little fly.”
Dangers Of Mosquitoes
Despite their tiny size, mosquitoes are actually the most dangerous animal on Earth because of the deadly diseases they spread. In fact, mosquitoes kill up to a million people every single year by infecting them with diseases like malaria, chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever. Mosquitoes also spread the infamous zika virus, which is known to cause debilitating, incurable birth defects like microcephaly, or an underdeveloped head.
While we don’t have malaria or yellow fever in the United States, mosquitoes spread multiple varieties of encephalitis (brain swelling), including eastern and western equine encephalitis and La Crosse encephalitis. Rarely, the West Nile virus can also cause encephalitis in people.
Mosquitoes aren’t just dangerous to people; they’re dangerous to pets too. Infected mosquitoes can spread heartworms to cats and dogs. If you don’t keep your pets protected, heartworms can be deadly. West Nile virus is also much more dangerous for horses than for people, so it’s important to keep your pets treated and vaccinated and your yard mosquito-free.
Ways To Keep Mosquitoes Away
The best way to repel mosquitoes is to get rid of attractants. Aside from fresh blood, the thing that attracts female mosquitoes the most is places to lay their eggs. Most mosquito varieties need stagnant water to breed, so eliminate things like kiddie pools, birdbaths, and outdoor pet bowls (or change the water in them every 48 hours).
You can also repel mosquitoes by keeping your lawn and landscaping trimmed. This not only eliminates hiding places, but it helps reduce moisture in the soil around your property. Some mosquito species only need moist soil to breed. That means evaporation is your friend.
Unfortunately, female mosquitoes are highly motivated to live near sources of the protein they need to breed, so they’re tough to repel on your own. Luckily, help is just a click or call away. Here at Alliance Pest Services, we’ve been dealing with these pesky and perilous pests for over three decades. Our mosquito control services are highly effective and safe for both people and pets. So give us a call at (888) 904-7507 or visit our contact page to schedule your service today!