Giant mosquitoes have a reputation that precedes them by virtue of looking like the annoying smaller mosquito and her bite. But apart from looking like a typical mosquito on steroids these flies also known as crane flies are generally harmless to humans and beast. Large and small mosquitoes need stagnating water in order to lay eggs and continue their life cycle. So when there are very wet winters you can expect an influx of mosquitoes.
But there are two types of giant mosquitoes: the crane fly and the galliniper mosquito
Characteristics of the crane fly
Also known as mosquito hawks or in other places as the mosquito eaters, the giant mosquito emerges in spring time to mate and then two weeks later they die off. Although their name suggests that they prey on mosquitos they actually don’t feed on mosquitoes and they also do not bite you. They are pretty much benign in nature.
Unfortunately, their larvae can be destructive causing turf damage by chomping through the grass to leave dry, brown and leathery patches on your lawn. The larvae look like cutworms without legs. Their damage is not very extensive but it is noticeable. So if you want to mitigate their damage you need to call a pest control expert.
Characteristics of the galliniper mosquito
Also known as the shaggy legged galliniper this is the largest mosquito species in the world. Apart from its impressive size it is also extremely aggressive and can bite you even through clothing. It is scientifically known as the PsorophoraCiliata and it can be 6-20 times the size of a regular mosquito. The bite of the galliniper mosquito is said to be so aggressive the victim would feel like they are being stabbed. Considering the fact that the female will bite you during the day and night, it is a menace that needs to be eradicated the minute it is identified.
It has darker scales on its legs which have become identifying markers for this ferocious mosquito. The galliniper mosquito is native to the Eastern parts of the United States. Fortunately, it is not known to be a disease vector like the regular mosquito but it is still a pest and a nuisance. However, this species of mosquitoes is so aggressive that even in their larvae stage they will eat tadpoles.
These mosquitoes surge in numbers over the rainy season because like regular mosquito they need stagnant water to breed. To prevent them drain your fountains and bird pools or keep the water circulating and refreshed.
How long do mosquito bites last
A mosquito is attracted by our carbon dioxide emissions as we sleep and also by the scent of the blood coursing through our blood vessels. Unlike the bite of the bed bug which you won’t discern until the parasite has already had its blood meal, the mosquito bite is immediately felt and causes an painful pinch as it breaks skin. This is because the mosquito doesn’t release a dulling agent to act like temporary anesthesia. Instead it releases its saliva which contains an anti-coagulant that prompts the itching you feel.
The mosquito bite can last up to a week. The first two days the bite is probably itchy which tapers out leaving a red swelling on the site of the bite. After two more days of the swelling the bite site will become blue or purple looking like a bruising as it heals itself. Often the bites of a mosquito look like you are breaking up in hives. They are characterized by one large swelling or several smaller ones as he mosquito was probably looking for a capillary.
You will notice these bites occur on the face, hands and other exposed parts of the body. This includes areas which you may leave uncovered during the night if you lose coverage of the duvet. This is the only reason you may find a mosquito bite on you back or chest.
What to expect with a mosquito bite
You will see several bumps raised on your skin and they will be extremely itchy. The itching is because of your body’s immune system‘s response to the protein in the saliva. It causes the human body to release histamines which cause the nerves around the site to become itchy. The best way to mitigate the itchiness is to use calamine lotion to soothe the area.
Some of the complications that arise from a mosquito bite include
This is the local bacterial infection we are all used to because of scratching or picking at the bite site. The open sore caused by too much itching can get pus but it is only confined to the bite site.
This is the bacterial infection that spreads around the bite site. It is characterized by redness and swelling in the skin surrounding the bite and the area is very painful to touch.
This is also known as sepsis and it is characterized by a red line that goes up the limb. It is a dangerous type of infection that can actually result in death if left untreated. This is because the infection contaminates thevictim’s blood.
Mosquitoes annoy us and they carry a lot of scary diseases, but how much do we really know about mosquitoes in house?
The first thing that you should know is that mosquitoes are not all the same. Since mosquitoes have been around for nearly 100 million years, they have had plenty of time to create nearly 3,000 different species.
Mosquitoes have been able to adapt to various climates, and they can now live through all kinds of conditions. If the history of mosquitoes has taught us anything, it is that these little annoyances can easily change from one year to the next.
Additionally, mosquitoes are notorious for carrying many different types of diseases. Within the United States, mosquitoes tend to only carry encephalitis, but they also infect household pets with heartworms, so keep your pets away from any outside area where mosquitoes are abundant.
You may also be interested to know that mosquitoes like to eat all kinds of different foods, juices, garbage, still waters, and even inside of trees.
Therefore, beware of any mosquitoes that may be attracted to pails of water, picnics, or overflowing garbage heaps.
The one advantage that we may have over the ever-irritating mosquito is that these little creatures cannot see very well. In fact, mosquitoes find their prey using a sort of heat sensor, and eyesight has nothing to do with any target.
Once a mosquito is approximately thirty feet away from you, you will suddenly come into sight, but not before that moment.
You can think of the mosquitoes as a sort of airborne bloodhound, and they will find you simply by sensing that you have exhaled.
When you exhale, you release c02 into the atmosphere, which means that mosquitoes will automatically be able to smell you. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that you will knock a mosquito off course with a bug zapper.
Interestingly, bug zappers do little, if nothing, to help a person ward off mosquitoes. In fact, bug zappers only kill the kinds of insects that eat mosquitoes, and these loud machines only provide heat and still water – in short, bug zappers create a sort of feeding ground for mosquitoes.
So, avoid using a bug zapper at all costs, and invest in a decent mosquito repellent instead.
Now that you know a bit more about mosquitoes, you are probably less likely to hang around fruit, garbage, or still water areas during the summertime.
However, it is important that you wear some sort of mosquito product as well. Mosquitoes are more than a nuisance, they are a threat to every human on the face of the earth, but at least you will be able to fight back with the knowledge that you have gained from reading this article.
Having a pest control company that you can rely on is something that’s important and as such, requires you to be well-informed. That said, only these professionals can help you eradicate mosquitoes.
While you probably know that mosquito bits are painful and itchy, and can potentially carry diseases, most people assume that such a small creature could never really harm anyone.
However, mosquitoes can be defined scientifically as “disease-carrying (and causing) creatures” that are extremely harmful to humans.
Mosquitoes rip and suck the blood of their human victims, but this is far from the scary part.
They carry various viruses and parasites that are passed on from person to person as mosquito attacks numerous people.
This means that if a mosquito has bitten someone with a virus or serious blood disease, the mosquito could leave traces of this infection upon another person’s skin. Of course, the real fear is that mosquitoes also have the ability to transmit a disease from one person directly into another person’s blood.
Usually, when the disease enters a person’s blood, this transference is fatal.
In addition to carrying human diseases from one person to another, mosquitoes also carry their own diseases. When a mosquito bites, it is literally injecting saliva and anti-coagulants into your blood.
A mosquitoes saliva usually contains some sort of parasite, which means that you are liable to catch rare diseases through a mosquito infection.
The only sure fire way to keep mosquitoes from an entire population is through treating an entire affected area.
Unfortunately, capturing and eliminating all mosquitoes within a certain area is relatively impossible, so it is best to protect yourself anyway that you can.
Throughout Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico, and various parts of Asia, mosquitoes have been responsible for nearly 70 million deaths – all of these deaths were caused through the transference of one diseased person to another through a mosquito bite.
If you think that mosquitoes will never affect North America, think again.
Although massive mosquito deaths usually occur in third world countries, Europe, the United States, and Japan have all met with large amounts of mosquito scares in the past.
Perhaps the most frightening thought of all is the fact that there are some diseases not yet discovered, which means that mosquitoes could, potentially, spread disease on a much large scale than has even been seen before.
What You Can Do To Prevent Mosquitoes
- Do you have a pond or other body of water that may be attracting mosquitoes? It may be worth your while to introduce fish, such as bass, bluegill, catfish, goldfish, guppies, and killifish, which are known to consume mosquito larvae.
- You can also add fish to rain barrels. Pay attention to your drainage systems. Are they working properly, or are they creating puddles of water that sit for days at a time?
- Adjust the system so that there is less standing water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs in, and keep your eaves troughs, and gutters clean.
- If you are going to be outside during the hot summer months when mosquitoes are most prevalent, you can control the population that becomes attracted to you, your family, and your friends by making sure you are using bug sprays or repellant lotions.
- You can also use candles or other methods that protect a small area.
For people who have the privilege (for most) or curse (for some) of having a significantly large yard space, preventing lawn infestation from mosquitoes and other pests is very important and should be put as one of the regular requirements along household chores.
Generally, regular lawn management is categorized into the following tasks:
Cutting requires pruning and trimming plants to their desired height. This applies to flowers, ornamental bushes and trees that line the yard.
Cutting not only maintains visual uniformity but it also allows new buds to grow keeping the growth cycle of the plants going under control. Cutting also includes mowing the grass that covers most of the lawn.
This keeps the grass under controlled height and constant mowing encourages the grass to grow sideways covering more area of the yard. Edging the grass and other hedge plants are also part of this task.
This task immediately follows after cutting. Fallen cut-offs and dead leaves from trees that litter the lawn since the last clean up should be swept and put in proper organic waste disposal bins always.
In some countries in Southeast Asia, people burn dead grasses and leaves in the afternoon as a form of organic waste disposal.
This practice is also used to drive away mosquitoes and other plant pests and parasites because of the smoke.
This task although a part of general lawn care varies from country to country depending upon culture and government established waste disposal systems.
Plants newly cut, trimmed or pruned suffer plant stress. Watering reduces such stress and of course could supply any plant with proper nutrients and minerals straight from moist soil.
Watering should be done through a sprayer or a hose with an adjustable head. The flow of water should be at the mist setting with the sprayer directed to the roots.
Too much volume of water could displace topsoil covering the base of the plant. Leaves and flowers should also be lightly sprayed to wash off accumulated dust and other dirt.
It is best to do watering between 5 am-8 am or 5 pm onward when the sun is not at its hottest. This way water retention especially in the root area is at its longest.
In addition, lawn care is always a responsibility of every homeowner not only to himself but also to the community and it should be complied with regularly.
There is no excuse for an unattended, garbage littered, clutters and overgrown plants all over any lawn. As the saying goes, “take a rake or take a hike.”
Mosquitoes thrive on anything that may harbor water. Experts suggest a thorough cleaning of areas where mosquitoes may lay their eggs and proliferate.
Also, the application of mosquito repellent to one’s skin is advised when going outdoors.
However, there are still times when mosquitoes would just suddenly show up when you are outdoors.
To maximize your family’s safety from mosquito-borne diseases, you might consider hiring a pest control company to take care of these things safely and effectively.
We endure them every year. When the weather warms and outside activities get underway, we sometimes find them descending upon us like a plague. We’re talking about mosquitoes, of course, and the reasons why mosquitoes bite.
The nasty little bloodsuckers that, at times, can absolutely make life miserable. The perpetually pesky critters that can run roughshod over outdoor activities.
The tiny tyrants that can drive us from our own backyards as effectively as a pack of hounds treeing a raccoon.
But have you wondered why those needle-nosed tormentors just have to have your blood? For the mosquito’s offspring, that is.
You see, every mosquito that bites you is a mother-to-be. In fact, you’ve never been bitten by a male mosquito. Male mosquitoes are strictly vegetarian; they aren’t interested in your blood.
But all of the millions of female mosquitoes that have bitten you in your lifetime have needed your blood for a very good cause. From their perspective, anyway. Without blood, they cannot develop the eggs that will launch the next generation of mosquitoes.
Specifically, they need an amino acid (protein) that is present in the blood.
During her lifetime, each female mosquito will lay several batches of eggs. And for each new batch of eggs, the mosquito needs one good fill-up of blood.
But, for her own nutritional needs, she eats the same nectar and plant juices that the male mosquito eats. The female mosquito uses your blood only to nourish her eggs.
Why The Itch?
The female mosquito needs your blood to be able to give birth to her offspring.
But why does it have to itch? Why does the mosquito have to leave a welt that drives you nuts with the constant, incessant itching?
It’s simply a matter of pure practicality: when the female mosquito bites you, she’s not really biting. It’s more like sticking you with a hypodermic needle. And, when the mosquito sticks you, she’s taking a considerable risk.
That is because your most likely reaction when you feel the unauthorized injection is to slap and squash the mosquito flat.
But nature has endowed the mosquito with saliva that has a bit of an anesthetic effect. As the mosquito sticks you with her proboscis, she also pumps in some saliva, which helps – at least a little – to reduce the likelihood that you’ll feel what’s happening.
And it’s the reaction of your body to the mosquito’s saliva that causes the itching and the welt.
So now you know the truth about why mosquitoes are always making unauthorized withdrawals against your blood bank.
But knowing why they want your blood – knowing that it’s just a mother trying to provide for her young; knowing that it’s one of nature’s creatures simply trying to perpetuate the species; knowing that they aren’t mini-Draculas bent on evil – are you going to be a bit more understanding next time a mosquito alights upon your skin?
Remember, some mosquitoes are disease-carrying vectors, and it is never wise to have them around, especially with children.
Mosquitoes in Arizona are annoying enough when they are buzzing around you and leaving itchy bites. Unfortunately, they also happen to be carriers of some of the more nasty diseases on the plant including the West Nile Virus.
Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? While playing in the sun can be fun, you should know that pesky mosquitoes carry an array of viral diseases that could be life-threatening.
Although most people have heard about the correlation between mosquitoes and the West Nile virus, there are many diseases carried by mosquitoes that the general population does not know about.
Sadly, if a news station does not report on a person contracting a “mosquito disease” most people will not know that these diseases even exist. Mosquitoes are one of the dirtiest, and deadliest, creatures are known to man, and these little bothers may just be responsible for the man than you think.
Some of the viral diseases carried by mosquitoes include:
- LaCross encephalitis
- Japanese encephalitis
- West Nile virus
- Louis encephalitis
- Ross River Fever
- Rift Valley fever
- Epidemic polyarthritis
- Dengue fever
- Yellow fever
- And many other types of invasive diseases.
West Nile Virus is certainly nothing to be disregarded when going outside. If you are going into an area where mosquitoes are prevalent, you should definitely wear insect repellent.
That being said, most people infected never know they have the virus because their body defeats it without excessive problems.
Mosquitoes are solely responsible for malaria, which happens to be the world’s leading cause of premature death. Since most North American news stations do not report on deaths caused by malaria, most of us are entirely unaware of the real threat that mosquitoes can pose.
More than 5.3 million deaths occur each year due to the mosquito genus Anopheles, which carries the malaria virus – children under the age of five account for most of these deaths.
Though the genus Anopheles is not usually found within North America, almost all mosquitoes are capable of carrying the filariasis worm, which causes the disease elephantiasis – 40 million people worldwide are currently dealing with some form of elephantiasis.
Even though all of these statistics are scary, they are not the most terrifying part of the whole mosquito epidemic.
As people age, mosquito bites are often undetected. Though children often swell up and turn red upon receiving a bite, adults tend to build up an immunity to mosquitoes as they receive more and more bites.
In short, you could be infected by a disease that was carried by a mosquito, and not even know about it.
While some types of mosquitoes cannot be deterred, the mosquitoes found throughout North America can usually be warded off with the application of a natural mosquito repellent.
Mosquitoes tend to stay away from people that are armed with special products, and this is exactly what you should be aiming for.
Keep mosquitoes away from your body, and keep your health intact by being prepared; remaining educated; and using a mosquito repellent that is guaranteed to work.
Mosquito bites can be a big problem especially if it transmits serious diseases such as the West Nile virus and malaria. As we do have different reactions to these bad mosquito bites, we have to be cautious with its symptoms.
Indications may include redness, swelling, and itchiness that can either be immediate or may take up to a few days to show up.
Typically, other signs of more serious infection may include fever, vomiting, body malaise, and rashes. This may require you to see your doctor for an extensive evaluation.
Why do mosquitoes bite?
These infectious bites are caused by the stinging bite of the female mosquito. They are equipped with a blade-like mouth that enables them to suck blood from your skin.
The moment these mosquitoes pierce with their mouth, they transmit their saliva containing proteins and other digestive enzymes.
Some may experience immediate itchiness and redness. However, with repeated bites, others may become immune and would no longer see those allergic reactions develop.
A pack of cold ice can be an immediate relief to mosquito bites. If bitten, you can immediately massage a pack of ice on the infected area.
This may reduce the redness and swelling of your skin. Calamine lotion can also be a treatment to those itching bites. With just a small amount applied on the surface of your swelling skin, it can relieve the itching.
If you wish to go natural, then Aloe Vera will work best for you. This plant can be your instant solution for all types of bites. Just break a piece from the plant then apply the gel on the infected area. Its coolness will alleviate the itching and redness.
Apart from using insect repellents, there are also several ways to prevent mosquito bites.
Since mosquitoes become very active from sunrise to sunset, try to avoid staying outside the house. This will increase the odds of being bitten which can lead to a more serious disease.
During outdoor activities, try to wear clothes that can protect you from these infectious bites. You can wear pants, long sleeves and other garments that can cover your arms and legs.
In as much as taking the necessary precautions for ourselves, we also need to maintain a clean environment as this may become the breeding ground of mosquitoes. Empty those discarded cans and other storage found outside the house.
Eliminate stagnant water in the yard as well as piles of dried leaves. If you have pools at home, make sure to keep them chlorinated and clean from time to time. Even these swimming pools can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
For children, let them use insect repellents both day and night. Make sure to apply it on their arms and legs as well as the back of their neck. For DEET based sprays, remember to always check the concentration to avoid severe problems.
Always remember that prevention is better than cure. For all mosquito bites problems, mosquito control services are needed at once. It is better to equip yourself with preventive measures so as to avoid severe diseases.
Many of the methods that can be used to protect your children from mosquito bites are either not potent enough to get rid of mosquitoes in house, or are only effective at managing mosquito bites after they occur.
Come summer and the mosquitoes are out in full force. You may have noticed ads for different insect repellents in stores, magazines, or on TV. With so many different products competing for your attention, it’s hard to know which are the most effective.
The weather is perfect for camping trips and playing outside, but there’s one problem; the weather is also perfect for mosquitoes to breed and multiply, and the female mosquito needs fresh blood in order to lay her eggs.
Here are some of the methods that many people are familiar with, which can be helpful in combination with other methods, but are not sufficient on their own.
- Mosquito Nets
Mosquito nets do not prevent mosquitoes from entering your home; they only provide a thin barrier between the mosquito and your child. Every time the net is moved, its effectiveness is compromised.
Repellents contain DEET, and mosquito repellents that contain more than 10% of DEET are potentially harmful to your child’s health. To be effective, repellents have to be reapplied constantly, and with children, this can be a hard task to keep up with. Not to mention, your children will not enjoy the unpleasant feel or smell of repellents.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, you may want to dress your child up in long sleeve clothing; however, this is an impractical method and will result in your child feeling uncomfortable during warmer weather.
Keep your children from heading outdoors before dawn, and make sure that they are indoors before dusk. While this may keep your child away from mosquitoes while they are most active, there are still plenty of mosquitoes out in between these times.
In the event that your child is bitten by a mosquito, you can use items such as antibacterial wipes, anti-itch cream, calamine lotion, or ice packs to prevent swelling and irritation. However, these will not prevent future bites.
A more effective and less time-consuming method than any of those mentioned above is to hire a professional to spray your yard at intervals in order to kill and prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and other pests.
Having your yard sprayed periodically is a simple solution that will make your home a safe haven for your children to relax and play in, as well as relieve you of the stress of trying to keep up with several less effective methods.
Many mosquito control companies use chemicals that are non-toxic as well as easily degradable and will not interfere with your child’s outdoor experience.
Save the mosquito repellent for camping trips. When your children are playing at home, keep them protected from irritating mosquito bites by having your yard protected by a professional mosquito control company.
Depending on the number of people you are trying to protect, the amount of time you are trying to keep mosquitoes away and to stop mosquito itch, each repellent method provides a set of benefits.
- Natural Sprays. Herbal sprays are derived from oils that repel mosquitoes and other insects naturally, such as cedar-wood, lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus, and peppermint.
These sprays are recommended for young children as a less harsh form of protection. These repellents usually have a strong smell and need to be reapplied every hour.
They range anywhere from forty to eighty percent effective, so you may wish to read consumer reviews for several different products before choosing a natural spray.
- Chemical Agents. Chemical sprays are much harsher and can leave a residue that can even wipe the ink off of labels when left on hands. They also have a strong smell; usually the stronger the smell the more effective the product. DEET based repellents are the most effective and have been used for decades.
- Botanical Lotions. Botanical lotions have been found to be the most effective of these applications. Rating up to ninety percent effective, some lotions can last for up to two hours and have a lighter feel on the skin.
Most do contain a small percentage of DEET but are still environmentally friendly, and while they still can have a strong smell, they are far less odorous than both chemical and natural sprays.
Torches and Candles
- Similar to lemongrass, this grass is a natural insect repellent. It is most commonly used in a candle form or in torches that can be staked into the ground around the area to be protected.
Candles are usually about forty percent effective, and while they do offer some protection, it is good to use it them combination with personal applicators if you are afraid of being bitten.
- Infused Apparel. Believe it or not, there is even chemical infused apparel available from some retailers. The material is treated with a patented pesticide and wards off ticks, mosquitoes, and other bugs.
The repellent usually lasts through twenty-five washes. The effectiveness of these products is high, but they come at a higher price tag and only protect the region of the body nearest to the treated material.
- Nets are the only completely chemical-free way to keep mosquitoes out. Mosquito nets are light and very effective at preventing mosquitoes from entering a confined space. This makes mosquito nets ideal for protecting small spaces such as beds, but not practical for moving around outdoors.
Home Misting Systems
Home misting systems are a modern and highly effective method of keeping mosquitoes at bay. These systems spray an area around the home periodically and clear the air of any pests.
Although you will still need lotions or sprays when you leave home, a home misting system will allow you to enjoy your back yard without the need for greasy sprays or strong smelling candles and torches.
Sprays and lotion work best for those traveling away from home, whereas home misting systems are more appropriate for home use.
Covering up arms and legs when possible is a good chemical-free method of protecting yourself, but the summer heat may make this impractical.