Did you know that mosquitoes are to some considered the deadliest insect in the world? These tiny little insects are known for spreading diseases such as malaria and Chikungunya at a rapid rate. With more than 170 different types of mosquitoes in North America alone, these summer pests have quite the reputation. Mosquitoes are tiny grey/silver insects that have 6 legs, an oval shaped body, and a very annoying habit of swarming around us during outdoor activities. The females are the ones that are of most concern as they are the ones who require a blood meal to keep reproducing. Though mosquitoes seem like just another summer pest, they may be more dangerous than you know.
Mosquitoes have been found to be the cause of the spread of many dangerous and potentially deadly diseases. Such diseases could be but are not limited to malaria, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis. Most of these diseases are uncommon in the United States however it is still good to be aware of mosquito borne illness.
The more common side effect of a mosquito bite, when the diseases listed above are not a factor, is a small red bump on your skin. But don’t be fooled, this little bump can become very itchy and irritated..and often it ends up being more than one bite as mosquitoes are in such high populations where they have the ability to thrive. Mosquitoes will breed in any form of stagnant water and multiply quickly. This is why they can infest your backyard in what seems like overnight. Summer cookouts and activities can quickly become a nightmare.
There are a few things you can do to keep the mosquito population down in your backyard. The key is to remove any stagnant water on your property. This means that you will have to examine your backyard and look for stagnant water sources. Here are a few examples:
Birdbaths: change the water out weekly
Kiddie pools: change the water out and flip it over
Old Tires: remove old tires
Fountains and small ponds: keep water moving and change it out regularly
Gutters and Downspouts: remove any debris that may be blocking water flow
Tarps: keep them tight and clean from debris
Basically, keep water fresh and don’t let standing water stay settled for too long. This will stop mosquitoes from having a chance to breed and quickly multiply in your backyard. If you find yourself overwhelmed and in the middle of a full blown mosquito infestation, your best choice will be to contact a pest control professional for a treatment to get rid of mosquitoes and reduce their breeding grounds.