It is getting hotter in Florida and summer is coming. The heat is back, the tourists are back and the mosquitoes are also back. But in Florida with our mild winters it sometimes seems the insects never really go away. At least, not for long. And of all the critters which bug us, the most dreaded just might be those little bloodsuckers the mosquitoes.
There are 3,500 named species of mosquito, of which only a couple of hundred bite or bother humans. They live on almost every continent and habitat. More than 150 species of mosquito may call your North American backyard home and all are true flies, spending most of their time feeding on plant nectar. Only the females supplement this diet with the blood of animals or birds, which provides the protein necessary for egg maturation.
Adult females lay eggs on the surface of stagnant water and 4 to 14 days later, the eggs hatch into wriggling larvae that begin to feed on water-dwelling microorganisms including fungi, bacteria, and algae. It is when they grow to adulthood that they begin to feed on us...the females, anyway.
Those female bites can be bad news. When a female mosquito pierces the skin with her proboscis (mouth parts), she injects a small amount of saliva into the wound before drawing blood. Her saliva makes penetration easier and prevents the blood from clotting in the narrow channel of her food canal. The itchy welts that appear after the mosquito leaves is not a reaction to the wound, but an allergic reaction to the saliva injected to prevent clotting. In most cases, the itching sensation and swellings subside within several hours. Some people are highly sensitive and symptoms persist for several days.
Tired of being a snack? A variety of specially-formulated insect repellents are available for sale at camping or sporting goods stores. Apply insect repellent to uncovered skin surfaces when outdoors, especially during the day. When using sunscreen, apply it before insect repellent. As for ridding yourself of mosquitoes, better call in the pros.
Zimmerman Tree Service provides a yard misting treatment designed to reduce the mosquito population around the homeowner’s yard through a two phase attack. The first being an insecticide providing immediate and residual control of mosquitoes and the second is an insect growth regulator which interrupts the reproduction cycle of mosquitoes.
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Palm Beach County: 561-968-1045
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Martin County: 772-546-0811
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Broward County: 954-968-1045
Note: ISA is the International Society of Consulting Arboriculture. ASCA is the American Society of Consulting Arborist.