Mosquitoes (mosquitoes commonly known) lead an aquatic existence in an immature and grow in standing water or near-stagnant. Larvae can not develop in grass or bushes, but adults can use these circles as staging areas during the day.
In some species of mosquito eggs are laid directly on the surface of the water in buckets from 100 to 400 eggs and they hatch in about a day later. In others, they are deposited in places that will be flooded later, as the muddy banks of a dry pond, and they hatch when the water reaches them.
Mosquito larvae look like worms and have neither legs nor wings. They settle on the surface of the water to breathe and feed by filtering small particles suspended in water, they dive at the slightest danger or to feed briefly at the bottom of the water. The larval stage lasts only a few days and is punctuated by four molts. In the fourth stage, the larvae pupate. It is at this stage of development that the wings and legs are forming.
Nymphs, comma-shaped, moving jerkily when disturbed. They do not eat normally and remain motionless on the surface of the water, breathing through two tubes located on the back. The pupal stage lasts about two days. Adults grow inside the pupa and emerge by splitting the cuticle of the nymph.
After emergence, mosquitoes remain on the surface of the water, while their body dries and hardens and they are strong enough to fly away in search of food. The life cycle from egg to adult can be completed in less than 10 days if temperatures are favorable.
Males feed only on nectar. Females also feed on nectar, but they also need blood to produce eggs. In nature, females of most species get their blood meal from animals that share their habitat, not human. Some species show a preference for birds, while others accept many animal species as hosts, including humans.
How can we fight against mosquitoes?
Eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites.
- Mosquitoes breed in standing water. It is therefore important to eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs even smaller.
- Store indoors all objects favoring the accumulation of stagnant water (eg: flower pots, watering cans, boats, wheelbarrows) or return them to avoid the trap water.
- Regularly empty swings and tires used, wherever possible, to substitute other types of swings.
- Eliminate lid garbage cans or recycling bins or composting to prevent water accumulation.
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers that can not be covered and stored indoors.
- Replace at least twice a week water bird baths and water containers left outside for pets to prevent it from stagnating.
- Emptied at least once a week rain barrels that are not protected by a finely screened lid.
- Ensure that the pool water is aerated, clean and properly chlorinated, even if it is not used.
- Eliminate any standing water on the cloth covering the pool.
- Replace water in plastic wading pools at least twice a week and reverse wading pools when not in use.
- Clean gutters regularly to prevent accumulation of stagnant water.
- Remove any container or small depression favoring water accumulation under shrubs and ground covers.
- Modify landscaping to eliminate the formation of small depressions in the lower parts of the land. During the warm season, any water that persists for more than 7 to 10 days can be a breeding site.
- Repair leaks in water pipes, pipe fittings and replace the washers outdoor leaky faucets.
Fight against mosquitoes in ponds
Water birds, frogs, fish, dragonflies and many species of beetles and water bugs consume large amounts of mosquito larvae. It may also deter female mosquitoes lay their eggs come in decorative ponds by installing an aeration system water.
The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti), a microbial naturally in the environment, is also highly effective against mosquito larvae but has little impact on the environment and other non-target insects and animals. Of products containing Bti are approved for the fight against mosquito larvae in private ponds and dugouts, but it must be ensured that the water in these bodies of water does not flow in- beyond the property boundaries.
During the mosquito season (May to September in most parts of Canada and USA), must minimize their outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, peak activity of mosquitoes. Certain species of mosquitoes can bite during the day, but they are not recognized as vectors of West Nile virus.
- Wearing pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks are recommended if you plan to stay long on the outside or out during peak mosquito activity.
- Loose clothing with a tight weave are best, because they prevent mosquitoes from reaching the skin.
- You must use a net if you sleep outside or in a structure not equipped with mosquito nets and to protect babies and young children outside.
- When using an insect repellent spray on the outside (eg, terrace and garden), you must adhere strictly to the instructions on the label.
- We must repair and replace as needed nets worn or damaged doors, windows or vents and seal or repair any opening that allows mosquitoes to get inside the house.
- Mosquitoes that manage to break into the houses usually perch on walls, under sinks, in closets or the basement. When using an insect repellent spray, we must adhere strictly to the instructions on the label.
- It is strongly recommended to use a personal insect repellent to protect yourself from bites.
- The installation of citronella candles around decks and picnic tables is not very effective against mosquitoes.
- The insect electrocutors not possible to eliminate mosquitoes or to reduce significantly the number.
- Electronic devices that emit high frequency sounds do not stray mosquitoes.
- Allegations that certain plants placed around galleries or terraces away mosquitoes are not scientifically based.
- In general, it has not been demonstrated that devices designed to trap and kill mosquitoes or other insect repellents as those that can be applied directly on skin or clothing can actually reduce mosquito populations and nuisance caused by these insects, although it is true that these devices are killing a lot.
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