Why Mosquitoes In Tequesta Are A Serious Threat
February 26, 2018
With their buzzing and bites, mosquitoes are a common nuisance to Florida residents, but they are far more dangerous than the average pest. For Tequesta residents, mosquito season is bad news - and could put you at risk if you don’t take the proper precautions.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the threat mosquitoes pose to Tequesta homeowners and their families, and essential steps they can take to protect themselves.
The Threat Mosquitoes Pose to Florida Homeowners
Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on earth, with the World Health Organization estimating that they are responsible for more than 725,000 deaths a year - all caused by mosquito bites. While mosquitoes are well-known bloodsuckers, the real danger they pose comes not from the blood they suck out of you but what they put in.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), mosquitoes can directly spread or serve as vectors for over a dozen known diseases, many of them fatal.
Malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, Dengue, Chikungunya virus, and at least four varieties of encephalitis (Eastern Equine encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, and Saint Louis encephalitis) can all be traced back to mosquitoes. Most recently, the life-threatening Zika virus reached epidemic levels in Africa and Asia - and even a few people in the United States - as a direct result of mosquito bites.
While luckily many of the diseases mosquitoes transmit are much less prevalent in the United States than in other areas of the world, the risk mosquitoes pose is still very real - and they love Florida weather.
Why Mosquitoes Put Tequesta Residents Are at Risk
Mosquitoes thrive in hot, humid areas for a number of reasons, but the biggest is that areas in those climates provide ample breeding ground - or in this case, breeding water.
The mosquito life cycle follows four basic steps, with each mosquito being laid as an egg, hatching as a larva before turning into a cocoon-like pupa and eventually emerging as an adult. While the entire process from egg to adult usually takes about 10-14 days depending on environmental conditions (as short as 4 days in hot enough areas), the entirety of the mosquito’s young life is spent in water.
For this reason, female mosquitoes are always on the hunt for humid areas with lots of stagnant water where they can lay eggs and feed on any animals in the area. Unfortunately for Florida homeowners, this means you.
The problem with mosquitoes in places like Tequesta is that mosquito season never really ends. Florida’s coastal climate and warm weather year-round make it a perfect nest for mosquitoes, and the state is home to three of the top twenty most-infested cities. Worse, natural catastrophes like the hurricanes that battered the coast in 2017 often bring mosquitoes with them, reigniting breeding and pushing mosquito season even later into fall and winter.
With hot summers, moderate winters, and perfect weather and climate conditions, Florida mosquitoes never have to take a break - so neither can Tequesta homeowners.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
The only real way to protect yourself from the diseases mosquitoes carry is to prevent yourself from getting bitten. Here are some essential strategies to employ to keep yourself and your loved ones mosquito-free:
Eliminating Standing Water
Prevention is always the best course of action when it comes to pest infestations, and one of the key ways to stop pest break-ins is simply to make your home as unappealing as possible - don’t give them any reason to want be in or around your home in the first place. For mosquitoes, this means giving them no sources of standing water.
Mosquitoes are always looking for a safe place to breed, so eliminating standing water sources around your home can both remove their incentive to stay in your yard and stop future generations of mosquitoes from being born simultaneously.
Keep the yard clear of any clutter that could allow rainwater to pool up, such as tires, buckets, plastic covers, inflatable pools, and so on. Likewise, you’ll want to ensure that the rain gutters and drains on your home are flowing properly and not allowing water to build up; make repairs where necessary. Dump out water in any potted plant trays whenever you see it.
For permanent structures like pools, stay on top of cleaning and change out the water regularly. Mosquitoes need stagnant water, so keep the pool water running while in use and consider installing fountains in other permanent structures like bird baths or wading pools.
Chemical Barriers and Sprays
Unfortunately, while it is an essential step, eliminating standing water alone is not enough to deter mosquitoes from invading your home. Luckily, certain chemicals repulse mosquitoes enough that they can form a protective barrier around your home to shield your family.
Keep in mind when deciding on a mosquito spray that not all repellents are created equally; some solutions are far more effective than others. According to the CDC, the best sprays are those that contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), IR3535, or 2-undecanone.
Spray key areas around the house as well as onto skin and clothing when going out in mosquito-infested areas. Just make sure to only choose a spray that’s been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and follow the instructions on the label as recommended.
In addition to factory-created chemicals, certain naturally-occurring plants also give off scents that mosquitoes can’t stand. Try planting lavender, citronella, catnip, or rosemary plants in and around the home, or dice the ingredients up and sprinkling them around potential problem areas.
Even with little incentive and a chemical barrier in their way, mosquitoes will still sometimes find ways to get to you. That’s when physical barriers and other deterrents come into play.
Stop mosquitoes from getting inside your home by giving them nowhere to enter. Inspect the exterior of your home thoroughly for any holes and repair as necessary, paying special attention to the roof and basement. Add screens to outside-facing doors and windows throughout the home, and make sure existing screens are free of any gaps in coverage.
Put up a physical barrier around your body as well. If you’re going to be outside for long periods of time during mosquito-heavy times of the year, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks - the less skin they can find, the less risk you take.
Why a Professional Mosquito Treatment is Worth It
Unfortunately, as a homeowner, there’s only so much you can do to limit mosquito presence around your home. According to the EPA, the only way to reach long-term mosquito control and exclusion is through an integrated approach incorporating tools and strategies that the average homeowner may not have access to.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone: the team at Nozzle Nolen has your back. Our team of licensed and certified pest professionals have the skills, training, and equipment necessary to take care of any mosquito problems you might be facing and keep your home safe for good.
If you’re interested in learning more about how mosquito control through Nozzle Nolen works, check out our blog about the many benefits professional mosquito control can bring your family. And if you’re ready to take back your home from the mosquitoes that threaten it, head over to our residential pest control page to get started, or contact us for more information.
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