In 2014, Illinois reported 44 human cases of West Nile Virus that resulted in four deaths. Mosquitoes commonly breed in slow moving streams, ditches, marshes, fish ponds, bird baths, old tires, and anything else that holds water. Landmark Pest Management controls mosquitoes in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs at their breeding source.
In the U.S. there are over 150 species of mosquito. Mosquitoes are parasitic blood feeding insects that develop in and around aquatic habitats. Adults lay their eggs in standing water where their larvae spend their lives until they emerge as adults, ready to feed on blood. This life cycle, from egg to adult, can be completed in as little as eight days. After which, adult mosquitoes can live for as long as one month.
- Mosquitoes transmit diseases such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.
- Some mosquitoes play a role in the transmission of heart worm in pets.
What can I do to help control mosquitoes?
- Eliminate sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed including wading pools, bird baths, and flower pots. Repair leaky pipes and faucets, and clear gutters from obstructions to encourage proper drainage.
- Wear protective clothing such as hats, long sleeves, and long pants and use repellants to keep mosquitoes at bay.
- Outdoor mosquito larvicide can be used to help control mosquitoes, but should only be applied by a knowledgeable professional.
- Keep screens in good repair.
- Stock ponds with top feeding minnows which will eat mosquito larvae before they become adults.
- Avoid walking pets during prime times of day for mosquito activity, and provide pets a screened-in enclosure.
Eggs are laid as floating rafts on the surface of water and measure about a quarter inch. They hatch into larvae called “wrigglers”. Wrigglers like all insects have a head, thorax, and abdomen. Their heads are small, their thoraxes are enlarged, and their abdomens are cylindrical and long. Wrigglers feed on microscopic organic material in water before moving to the pupal stage. Once they emerge from their pupal cases as adults they vary in their behavior and biology but all females share a proboscis which they use to feed on blood.