Mosquitoes are a blood-sucking, aggressive and disease-spreading pest that is a concern for Florida and all across the globe.
What do mosquitoes look like?
Here in Florida we have over 80 different species, and while each has their own distinctive characteristics of size and color, they are all a small pest with long, back legs. They have a simple elongated body with one set of wings. They have a very distinct proboscis (long nose) that is designed perfectly for feeding on the blood of their meal host.
When are mosquitoes most active?
Mosquitoes are active year-round in our tropical environment here in Florida. We do see an increase of mosquitoes in the rainy and hurricane seasons due to the increased amount of standing water that is readily available for breeding. On a daily basis, mosquitoes are most active during the cooler morning and evening hours. During the mid-day heat, they migrate to shaded areas.
What attracts mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes need standing water to breed so any mud puddle, pool, bird bath, bucket, plant pot or clogged gutter will be an attractant for them. When an adult male mosquito is looking for a meal, it is attracted to nectar from plants. And when an adult female mosquito (the blood-sucker) is looking for a blood meal host, it is attracted by light, heat, scent and carbon dioxide that is exhaled from people and animals.
Where are you likely to find mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are a global concern but their presence is more concentrated in tropical environments and local wetlands that provide adequate breeding choices.
Are mosquitoes dangerous or destructive?
Mosquitoes have been dubbed the “Deadliest Animal” on the planet because more people die from mosquito bite-related diseases and issues than from anything else. Malaria, for example, kills more than 60,000 people a year and effects over 200 million people. The danger that these common pests pose can be lethal to humans. While here in the United States, malaria isn’t a real health issue, there are plenty of other diseases and viruses that are. If you are traveling abroad, you should speak with your medical provider about all the appropriate and available vaccines in order to protect yourself.
Mosquitoes are a perfect vector of diseases and pathogens. Here are a few of the more well known viruses that are of concern for those living in Florida and the United States:
These include, St. Louis Encephalitis, Eastern & Western Encephalitis, LaCrosse Encephalitis, West Nile Encephalitis, Jamestown Canyon Encephalitis and more. For more information, from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), click here.
Until 2013, this virus was in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In 2013 it was found for the first time on in the Americas on the islands in the Caribbean and since has begun to travel up and down along Central, North and South America. For more information regarding this virus and the forecast for risk and prevention details, please click here to go to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website.
This mosquito-borne illness has been reported in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. In the U.S., there have been no local transmission cases reported meaning that any cases of the virus were transmitted to victim outside of the states. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are a mild fever, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain, and conjunctivitis. For more information about Zika virus, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.
Dengue & Dengue Fever
This is a viral disease that effects the tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world that can be lethal. For more information about this virus please click here for the latest information about distribution and prevention from the CDC.
Get informed about mosquitoes, mosquito abatement, disease prevention and distribution to better protect yourselves, your loved ones and your pets.