Of all the insects that strive to spoil the warm seasons, perhaps the mosquito is the most annoying. When outdoors, there is little that you can do to get away from these insects, especially in the summer. As we shall talk about later, these nasty little creatures can carry some dangerous diseases, so you must take steps to deter them from entering your home.
Suppose you want some further advice after reading this article. In that case, you might want to check out a professional exterminator company such as Majestic Pest Control, as their expertise allows them to give you further tips to those we will provide in this article. So, what do we know about mosquitoes? How dangerous are they, and what precautions can we take? We will try and answer these questions for you, so first, here are a few interesting facts about mosquitos.
Facts about Mosquitos
Mosquitoes are ubiquitous throughout the world, and here’s what we know about them:
- There are more than 3,000 species of mosquito across the world. In the USA, 176 species have been identified.
- The mosquito is responsible for spreading more dangerous diseases than any other creature in the world.
- Only the female mosquito bites, and she likes to feast on your blood.
- Mosquitos are among the slowest flying insects of all, with a top speed of around 1.5mph.
- The average mosquito will live no more than 2 months.
- Mosquitos are ancient creatures, and fossil examples have been found from the Triassic period – that’s up to a 250million years ago.
The mosquito and danger are synonymous. Let’s have a look at the diseases the creature is responsible for spreading.
Are Mosquitoes Dangerous?
It’s no secret that mosquitos are hard to get rid of and that they spread diseases. Think of these flying insects, and we immediately think of malaria. However, that’s not the only disease the mosquito spreads. It should be said that most people bitten by an infected insect will have minor symptoms and some more intense illnesses over a short time. Some fatalities will occur. Here’s a list of mosquito-borne diseases and the deaths they cause each year:
- Malaria in the USA is rare and usually involves persons returning from abroad. The CDC – Center for Disease Control and Prevention – reports that there are 1500 cases of malaria each year and perhaps five fatalities on average.
- The Zika Virus is a rare disease in the USA that is known to be carried by mosquitoes. Deaths are rare, and only serious cases require hospitalization. The last known case was in 2017.
- West Nile Virus is now established in the USA and is known to cause around 130 deaths among sufferers each year.
- Chikungunya virus is present in the USA, with around 5,000 confirmed cases each year, resulting in an average of 28 deaths.
- Dengue fever is a problem worldwide on an epidemic scale and is increasing in frequency in the USA. According to the CDC, there were almost 1500 cases of dengue in the USA in 2019.
As we can see from the above, the mosquito does transmit dangerous diseases, but fatality is rare with each of them. Most people will get treatment quickly following diagnosis and will fully recover.
That doesn’t mean we don’t want to prevent mosquitoes from our homes, so let’s move on and look at some prevention tips.
Mosquito Prevention Tips
Here’s a warning: the following mosquito prevention tips will reduce the number of insects entering your home, but you can be pretty sure that no matter how good your prevention methods are, some are going to get past them. Here’s our list of the top mosquito deterrents:
- Window screens are a must if you open them in the warm months as this is the most likely entry point for mosquitos. You’ll need them on your doors, too, and any good hardware store will have them in stock. With this also add a fence gate to gain a proper look.
- Mosquito larvae grow in stagnant and standing water. Fit a sealed lid to water butts, check drains for leakage, and get rid of all standing water – but not your garden pond! Eliminate likely breeding places such as open water butts.
- If you have a pond but no fish, we recommend you buy a few goldfish. They love to eat mosquito larvae! Put a pump in the pond, too, as the better the aeration of the water, the more attractive it is to mosquitos as a breeding site.
- Bats eat many mosquitos in one sitting, so make your outdoor space bat-friendly. Visit bat forums for ideas on where to get and how to site bat boxes and which plants will attract bats to your garden.
- Some plants deter mosquitos, including lavender, marigolds, and catnip, as well as camphor and eucalyptus. Burning the oil of the latter two in burners around the entrance to the House will help deter mosquitos.
To sum up, you need to install protective screens which you perhaps already have. These should go on all doors and windows that are open often in the warmer months. Remove standing water and cover your water butts with a sealed lid. Attract mosquitos to a pond with fish in it to quickly eat the larvae and encourage bats to your garden. Indeed, bats are fascinating to observe as dusk falls and will help keep the mosquito population down.
Before we finish, there are off-the-shelf insect sprays that can be useful in exterminating those mosquitos that get through your barricades, so perhaps invest in one.
When to Get Professional Help
Mosquitoes cannot be avoided and can be difficult to get rid of if it comes to a point where you have tried all of the above and more. You may need to call in the professionals and let them eliminate the mosquitos in the House and advise you on further preventative measures.