Mosquito control is the process of actively reducing the number of mosquitoes. Comprehensive mosquito control can use one or more approaches that target different environments and life stages of the mosquito.
The most important reason to control mosquitoes is to reduce the likelihood of diseases such as West Nile virus being transmitted to people through mosquito bites. Throughout history, no insect has been a more significant contributor to human discomfort, disease, and death than the mosquito.
Most mosquito control programs reduce mosquito populations through a mult-faceted approach known as Integrated Pest Managemtne (IPM). A mosquito has four life stages - egg, larva, pupa, and adult. In the life cycle of the mosquito, only the adult stage does not require standing water. An IPM program targets each life stage of the mosquito, but is intended to eliminate as many mosquitoes as possible before they emerge as biting adults.
No, mosquitoes live in many different habitats, and it is impossible to find and treat all of the places that they breed. Furthermore, mosquito control is not intended to eliminate mosquitoes. The goal of a mosquito control program is to reduce adult mosquito populations to a level that minimizes the possibility of people and animals getting sick from disease associated with mosquitoes, and reduces biting to a level that most people find tolerable.
Mosquitoes require water for the immature stages to develop. Any source of standing water, big or small, can produce mosquitoes. To reduce the number of mosquitoes in your neighborhood, it is important to eliminate any standing water from your home or yard.
Cleaning rain gutters, turning over buckets, and draining wading pools are important actions, but there are other, less obvious places that mosquito larvae can develop. Flower pots, boats, trash, and recycle bins are all commonly overlooked as potential larval mosquito habitat in people's yards.
Mosquitoes go to these cooler, humid, shady areas in your yard during the daytime to rest and escape hot dry air that will quickly kill them. Thinning shrubs and cutting down tall grass and weeds will reduce the harborage areas and number of mosquitoes in your yard.
Some species of mosquitoes actively seek a blood meal during the daytime; others will bite during the daytime if you disturb them. It is important to remember that the mosquitoes that transmit disease in Louisiana are much more active and agressive around dawn and dusk, especially the two hours immediately following sunset.
Mosquitoes typically fly a few hundred yards up to two miles from the place they emerge, depending on species and enviornmental factors. Some common mosquitoes in Louisiana are known to fly 30 miles or more.
Only adult female mosquitoes bite. Female Mosquitoes need the protein in the blood to produce eggs. Not all species of mosquitoes bite humans - some species prefer birds, large mammals, or even snakes. During the aquatic stages of its life a mosquito feeds on algae and other small organic matter.