As the greenery returns and the mercury starts climbing up the thermometer every spring, mosquitoes also return in the Charleston area. With the recent worries about Zika virus and the ever-present threat of West Nile, dengue and other illnesses transmitted by these blood-sucking pests, local residents should know where to find mosquitoes.
Common Mosquito Breeding Areas
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. A single mosquito can lay hundreds of thousands of eggs during its lifespan. Although there are hundreds of different types of mosquitoes, most do not venture into residential areas. Most types of mosquitoes breed in damp wooded areas, marshes, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. However, some of the most problematic mosquitoes can breed in birdbaths, landscaping ponds, pools, pet dishes and even around leaky sprinkler heads. The mosquitoes that are responsible for transmitting West Nile virus can breed in less than an inch of standing water. Even an overturned bottle cap that is filled with water can become a mosquito breeding ground.
What Attracts Mosquitoes
There are several things that attract these pests. They are attracted to artificial bright white light at night. However, they tend to avoid yellow or red light since they cannot see well. Mosquitoes are attracted to sweet smells such as fruits and perfumes. They are also attracted to the carbon dioxide that people exhale when they breathe. Additionally, mosquitoes are attracted to the scent of a person’s skin and their blood. Some experts say that mosquitoes are more attracted to people with type O blood than type A blood.
How To Reduce Risks Of Mosquitoes
Homeowners can lessen their chances of a mosquito infestation this summer by reducing risks on the property. These are some important steps to take:
- Be sure that all above-ground or underground sprinklers are in good repair and are not leaking.
- Keep pools and saunas covered and clean.
- Drain bird baths, manmade ponds, and outdoor fountains when they are not in use.
- Keep hoses drained and put away.
- Clean up clutter, stacked firewood or any other objects in the yard that could harbor moisture.
If possible, feed pets their water indoors. When this is not possible, change the dish several times each day. Any sources of water that are left in place during the day should be drained or covered at night to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
When mosquitoes become a problem, call a professional. There are preventative treatments to help keep these pests away from properties. At MosquitoNix Charleston, we can help prevent mosquitoes from infesting homes, businesses and special events. Please contact us to learn more about our affordable mosquito control solutions.