As synonymous as palm trees, sunshine and spectacular beaches are to the perfect picture of South Florida, so are everyone’s dreaded nemesis – mosquitoes. Not only are these biting fiends annoying, but they are also vectors for many well-publicized diseases, such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, dog heartworm disease, yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Chikungunya virus and other new and developing vector-borne diseases that make it to America, usually through South Florida. As the planet continues to warm, more mosquito species that spread diseases will be able to live in more northern areas.
Disease carrying mosquitoes prevalent in South Florida include:
- Asian Tiger mosquito – Zika
- Aedes Aegypti – Yellow fever and Chikungunya
- Psorophora Ciliata (aka Gallinipper) – Encephalitis and West Nile
What are mosquitoes attracted to?
The short answer is mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, heat, and light. Humans and animals exhale carbon dioxide, they generate heat just by moving around and generally humans spend time outside in the evenings, near a light source. Additionally, South Florida’s warm, humid climate and year-round mild temps make the ideal habitat for mosquitoes. Most mosquito species need stagnant water to lay their eggs and due to almost daily summer showers, South Florida’s backyards are conducive to mosquito breeding activities. During the daytime, mosquitoes hide out in dense vegetation, tall grass, and other shady, possibly damp areas in your yard. All sorts of containers in your backyard can be breeding areas for mosquitoes, such as
- Pools and fountains where the water isn’t constantly circulated
- Unused planters and other gardening equipment
- Pet water bowls
- Rain barrels
- Anything that can collect a small amount of water
Why do mosquitoes bite humans?
Mosquitoes are also attracted to human and animal blood. It’s not so much an attraction as a necessity for mosquitoes to reproduce. Once mosquitoes mate, female mosquitoes need a blood meal before laying their eggs, to provide the protein their eggs need to develop. Mosquitoes can detect odors, like sweat and carbon dioxide, along with heat by way of their antennae, which leads them to people and animals – it’s open season for female mosquitoes when you step outside your door. Most mosquitoes feed at dusk and into the early hours of the night or at dawn. This can cause a major inconvenience for your barbeques, pool parties, and other outdoor events.
What can be done to deter mosquitoes?
Some things you can do to deter mosquitoes include:
- Remove items, containers, and any other objects that could collect standing water and become breeding sites for mosquitoes
- Wearing long sleeves and long pants when outdoors in the mornings and evenings
- Wear commercial mosquito repellants, that include DEET or essential oils and other natural ingredients
- Grow citronella and other mosquito deterring plants on your patio and in your yard
- Use foggers and other aerosol products that keep mosquitoes at bay
However, as well-intended as insect repellants, foggers, mosquito bracelets, and citronella plants can be, these products only mask the things that attract mosquitoes. If your outdoor fun is taking a hit from pesky mosquitoes, you might want to contact a professional pest control company, such as Petri Pest Control Services to reclaim your backyard from mosquitoes.
In2Care Mosquito Trap: A new and unique approach to mosquito reduction for South Florida
A multi-impact tool to safeguard against mosquitoes and get the good times rolling again in your backyard or on your patio, Petri Pest Control Services is proud to offer the In2Care system. Proven effective against disease-transmitting mosquitoes, it is environmentally friendly, as well. This revolutionary, new technique works to reduce mosquitoes by:
- Eliminating Aedes mosquitoes, that can be insecticide-resistant
- Eliminating mosquitoes in their early stages, including larvae and pupae
- Eliminating larvae and pupae inside traps and in surrounding areas
- Reducing mosquito-borne virus transmission risks
Petri Pest Control Services offers other Mosquito Control Services
In the fight to combat the continuing threat of the Zika virus and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, Petri Pest Control Services offer our Mosquito Reduction Services. Making your backyard or business property more usable and enjoyable equals more people and pet-friendly events outdoors. Including many of the steps recommended by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) Extension, Petri Pest Control Services’s Mosquito Reduction Services, prevent mosquito reproduction and minimize the health risks posed by the mosquitoes:
1. Inspecting your property for potential mosquito breeding areas.
In addition to the potential mosquito breeding areas listed above, Petri Pest Control Services can help identify other areas, ripe for mosquito sources, including
o Drainage ditches that don’t drain correctly
o Full gutters and clogged drain pipes
o Crawl spaces
o Open space under stilt houses
o Any place water pools or doesn’t drain properly
2. Getting residents on board with a plan to correct or eliminate mosquito prone areas
o Storing toys and gardening tools indoors
o Changing the water in pet bowls, birdbaths and fountains once a week
o Keeping vegetation trimmed and the grass cut short
o Chlorinating your pool
o Checking areas prone to collecting water or correcting areas for better drainage
3. Treating mosquito prone areas with a larvicide that disrupts mosquito life cycles
Disrupting the life cycle of mosquitoes means fewer adult mosquitoes mating and reproducing
4. Spraying mosquito prone areas with adulticiding residual spray
Spraying vegetation where adult mosquitoes hide and rest, with a residual pesticide that covers the leaves of the vegetation reduces the population of adult mosquitoes.
5. Monitoring areas for mosquito reduction using ovitraps
Petri Pest Control Services monitors the effectiveness of our treatment by installing dark plastic cups, called ovitraps that are secured in shade areas around your home, and checked for the presence of mosquitoes.
Our Mosquito Reduction Service’s duration and frequency of application will depend on several factors, including the extent of mosquito activity, the needs of customers, and the time of year. Petri Pest Control Services, serving South Florida since 1956, is a family-owned, full-service pest control company. Serving South Florida homes and businesses from our Pompano Beach and Boynton Beach locations, Petri Pest Control Services is the company to call for your mosquito control solutions – contact us today!
Everything You Need To Know About Mosquitoes In South Florida in South Florida
Serving Broward County and Palm Beach County