All regions of the United States have mosquitoes. About 170 different types of mosquitoes make the U.S. their homes. Several types of mosquitoes make their homes in Virginia. The most common types are the Asian tiger mosquito, Asian rock pool mosquito, yellow fever mosquito, the banded spring mosquito, Eastern treehole mosquito, flood-water mosquito, the Vexans mosquito and the Northern house mosquito. The mosquito bites itch and, if the mosquito is carrying a virus, it could spread to you when you get bitten.
Mosquitoes could carry several types of viruses. Those that are not carriers are the banded spring mosquito, flood-water mosquito and Vexans mosquito. Those are just nuisance biting mosquitoes. West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes include the Asian tiger and Asian rock mosquitoes. They, along with the yellow fever mosquito may also carry dengue and Chikungunya. Both Asian species plus the Eastern treehole mosquito could be carriers of La Crosse Encephalitis.
The Northern house mosquito may carry St. Louis encephalitis and Zika. The two Asian species may also carry La Crosse Encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis, St. Louis Encephalitis and the Zika virus.
Mosquitoes like stagnant water. Anywhere you have water that isn’t moving, such as a pond that does not have a good inlet and outlet, bird baths, empty flower pots that collect water or old tires attract mosquitoes. They are also commonly found around marshes and swamps. They need the water to breed and can breed in as little as a half-inch of water.
Mosquito Life Cycle
The mosquito has four stages of life: The egg, larva, pupa and the adult. This pest lays its eggs one at a time, or they may be attached together. The eggs float on the water. If the eggs are attached together, there may be as many as 200 in a “raft.” While most mosquitoes do lay their eggs in water, some lay their eggs on damp ground that will flood. Most eggs hatch within 48 hours.
One the eggs hatch into larvae, they live in the water but come to the surface to breathe. The larvae will molt four times, and each time they grow larger. It is during the fourth molt that larvae change into pupa.
The pupa stage is when the mosquito rests and doesn’t eat. They do move, based on changes in the light. Some species take about two days during summer months to change from a pupa to an adult.
The adult mosquito rests on the surface of the water to dry out and so that its body parts harden. It will spread its wings to allow the wings to dry before it can fly. Two or three days after the adult emerges is when it starts blood feeding and mating.
The time frame for each mosquito lifespan depends on the temperature and types of mosquitoes. If the temperature is at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it might take 14 days go to through all four stages of the mosquito life cycle. If it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it might take 10 days. Some species could go through all four stages in four days while others could take a month, regardless of the temperature.
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If you have a mosquito problem, go around your yard and remove anything that could hold water. Check for empty flower pots, old tires, kiddie pools or anything else that collects water. Keep in mind that just getting rid of containers that could hold water may not solve your entire problem. If you live near a pond or your neighbor has items left out that collect water, you could still experience mosquito problems. Once you remove everything, contact RichPro to schedule an appointment to spray the yard for mosquitoes to help control mosquitoes that are living at your neighbor’s or in the pond on your property.