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How Dangerous Are St. Louis Mosquitoes?

August 06, 2021 - Mosquitoes

There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world. There are approximately 50 species in Missouri, but not all of them are found all over the state. Regardless of the number of species, it only takes the one that bites you to cause a problem.

Description Of Mosquitoes

Mosquito means “little fly” in Spanish. The mosquito is a species of fly. They are generally dark-colored, have six feet, one pair of wings, antenna, and on the female, an enlarged proboscis. The female uses the proboscis to drill into a mammal's skin to take a blood meal. She has to have a blood meal to develop her eggs. Males eat pollen and nectar. While the female does too, it is the blood meal that causes a problem.

Dangers Mosquitoes Pose

When a mosquito bites you, she injects an anticoagulant and an anti-inflammatory into you with her saliva. These last long enough for her to get her blood meal, unnoticed. What makes mosquitoes so dangerous is the diseases and parasites they carry that hitch a ride into your system in the saliva. The hitchhikers include Zika virus, malaria, West Nile virus, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, encephalitis, tularemia, and dog heartworms.

Not all mosquitoes carry all these diseases, and many of these diseases are not present in the United States. However, travelers sometimes get sick and bring them home. Because of the diseases and parasites mosquitoes carry, they are considered the most dangerous animals on earth.

Lifecycle Of Mosquitoes

In order to get rid of mosquitoes, you must understand their life cycle. Mosquitoes lay their eggs on still water, or where there will be still water when it rains. In still water, mosquitoes lay multiple eggs at once, connected in a raft. Floodwater mosquitoes lay their eggs in places such as a hole in a tree that collects water when it rains. The eggs hatch into mosquito larvae that live in the water and breathe through a snorkel. Most larvae, called “wigglers,” eat decaying organic matter. A few eat other animals in the water. The larvae then pupate into tumblers, named because they tumble through the water when it is disturbed. The adult mosquito comes out of the back of the pupae and flies away.

Controlling Mosquitoes

The best way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate standing water in your yard. Here are some other prevention tips:

  • Empty buckets, old tires, and anything else that holds water you don’t use. 
  • Empty troughs, birdbaths, pet watering dishes, and other necessary water sources at least every five days and clean them out before refilling them. 
  • Trim trees and shrubs away from buildings. Mosquitoes like to loaf in these cool, shady spots. 
  • Mow grass and weeds as mosquitoes can hide there during the day. 
  • Clean clogged gutters so water does not pool in them. 
  • Fill holes in trees that collect water. 
  • Put a screen over your rain barrel so mosquitoes can’t reach it.

Kill Mosquitoes Around Your House

Even with all these steps to prevent mosquitoes from raising young, you won’t completely get rid of them. Roberts Pest Control can further reduce the mosquitoes in your yard. We can come to your property and use a mister to place a mosquito treatment on the foliage in your yard. We can do this once for a big party, or every month during mosquito season to keep the number of mosquitoes as low as possible. Call Roberts Pest Control today to reduce your mosquito population and enjoy your St. Louis yard again. We also provide commercial pest control for St. Louis businesses.

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