How to Identify Anopheles Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes (Family Culicidae)

Introduction: Mosquitoes belong to the same order as the true flies (Diptera) and as such they possess a single pair of wings. They have long, thin legs and a head featuring a prominent piercing proboscis. Mosquito bodies and wings are most often covered in tiny scales and adults range in size from 1/8” to 1/3” long. Several species of mosquitoes found in the United States are of concern due to their ability to transmit disease.

Habits: Complete development from egg to an adult mosquito typically takes 10 to 14 days. Mosquito larvae and pupae require standing water, and any object capable of retaining water for five or more days is a potential breeding area. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on or near the water’s surface. Mosquito eggs can remain viable for up to 10 years in the environment, waiting for suitable conditions to arise. Eggs hatch into larvae, or wrigglers, which are filter feeders that consume algae, bacteria and organic matter that is within their aquatic habitat. After about seven days, larvae become pupae, commonly called tumblers, which do not feed at all but do remain mobile. The pupal stage lasts from one to three days at which time the adult mosquito will emerge. Most people are susceptible to mosquito bites, and in some individuals, they cause severe itching and swelling. Mosquitoes can prevent the enjoyment of many yards and outdoor recreational areas. Yet most importantly, several species of mosquitoes are vectors for severe and potentially fatal diseases. These diseases include malaria, encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile virus, and Zika virus, and the transmission of these diseases is species specific.

Control: Several species of mosquito may breed in the immediate vicinity of the home. The presence of these species can be minimized by some diligence on the part of the homeowner. Water-containing receptacles such as barrels, children’s toys, rubbish, and tires should be emptied and defective/clogged roof gutters should be replaced or cleared. Another method to minimize mosquitoes is the use of repellent. Repellents are substances that mosquitoes and other insects find noxious and will avoid.

Some other methods to help prevent a mosquito problem are:
• Check for leaks around faucets and air conditioner units and eliminate any existing puddles.
• Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week.
• Remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps to eliminate potential breeding areas.
• Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools and septic tanks.
• Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc. Arrange the tarp so that water will drain effectively.
• Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully as to prevent any water from standing for several days.
• If ditches contain stagnant water for one week or longer then vast numbers of mosquitoes can be produced. Report such conditions to a Mosquito Control or Public Health office. Do not attempt to clear these ditches as they may be protected by wetland regulations.

Many of the nuisance species of mosquito will emerge periodically in an area versus other species that will have mass emergence at one time. This type of varying emergence can often make control difficult. However, professional treatment of mosquitoes can be extremely effective in reducing mosquito populations in a given area. Cook’s Mosquito Patrol offers professional treatments for the control of mosquitoes and our service has been shown to reduce mosquito populations up to 90%. Our pest management professionals are thoroughly trained to address your mosquito problems. Trust Cook’s to allow you to enjoy your yard and patio again without being bitten and harassed by these pests.

About Mosquitoes

  • In addition to being a backyard annoyance, mosquitoes kill more people each year than any other insect (600,000 from mosquito-borne malaria alone).
  • Mosquitoes have transmitted the Zika virus in some parts of Florida.