Mosquitoes in New York
February 2, 2021
Did you know that not only does New York have the largest population in the U.S., but New York also holds the title for the top five largest mosquito populations?
Cold winters can’t wholly eradicate mosquitoes. As New Yorkers are well aware, the pests come back with a vengeance once the hot, humid weather arrives.
1 Importance of pre-season planning and keeping on a 18-21 day schedule.
If you really want to enjoy your back yard, think about mosquito management as a process. Mosquitoes have been around for a very long time and they are very good at what they do. Starting early in the season allows your technician to work with you to control the population early and reduce spikes in the population due to weather fluctuations. This will give you a more consistent result throughout the season. Just like most things in life, there is no magic pill here. Although quick fixes and boosters may be necessary from time to time, the goal is to reduce the adult population throughout the entire year. Two common misconceptions are:
1) Only one treatment is necessary — In fact it may take several treatments to achieve the desired and realistic effects of mosquito control so please communicate with your mosquito technician on what is happening in your back yard.
2) Skipping or delaying treatments — Don’t fall into the trap that you are satisfied with results for the short term . Skipping treatments allows time for mosquito populations to recover. If you wait until the problem is severe, you risk losing all progress towards a pest free yard.
2Wet Gutters cans can be the unseen breeding grounds.
Gutters can be an unseen breeding ground that collect water after it rain. The combination of stagnant water and debris in the gutter can make an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes. In addition to many other reasons such as preventing water damage to your house, cleaning your gutters and/or installing leaf guards can eliminate unseen mosquito breeding grounds.
3Ponds and garden water features.
Many of my clients ask about ponds and water features. These are beautiful additions to a back yard and your technician will take extra precautions when treating a property containing a pond. The good news is if you have fish and/or flowing water, these water features are usually poor breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Your technician will evaluate the water feature and make recommendations. Your technician will recommend how to treat stagnant water features, however, you will always achieve better results with fresh flowing water. Mosquitoes thrive and breed in stagnant water!
4The link between lawncare and mosquito management.
It is a common misconception that mosquitoes are predominantly found in the lawn during the day. Mosquitoes prefer to “hang out” on the underside of plant and tree leaves where they can take advantage of the cooler shade and feed on plant sap. Only when the lawn gets excessively high does it offer a suitable place for mosquitoes. So, maintaining your yard is key to good mosquito management. Mosquitoes thrive in messy yards!
5Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) plan and Mosquito Hunters.
We at Mosquito Hunters take a holistic approach to mosquito treatment. Each time we service your property, we take the following steps:
1) We survey your property.
2) We eliminate standing water wherever possible.
3) We apply a barrier treatment.
4) We leave you a note with suggestions to improve efficiency of your treatment.
5) We ask that you also make this a team effort by the following: mowing your grass and trimming shrubs, watering your lawn, cleaning your gutters, eliminating weeds or trash in ditches and drains, filling in tree holes and stumps, correcting leaking faucets and spigots, emptying birdbaths and other water collecting receptacles, covering trash cans and drilling holes to drain them, maintaining your pool or pond, and encouraging your neighbors to do the same!
6Why do they bite you?
Female mosquitoes bite to engorge themselves on a cocktail of our blood. Our blood is rich in protein and other compounds which female mosquitoes need to help produce and develop their eggs. When a mosquito bites you, she releases her saliva into the wound. Her saliva causes the itch!
7Why do mosquitoes seem to gravitate to me?
It is true and probably not your imagination! Some people produce more of certain chemicals in their skin, and a few of those chemicals, like lactic acid, attract mosquitoes. There’s also evidence that one blood type (O) attracts mosquitoes more than others (A or B).
In New York, our mosquito season is about 6-7 months, but many species of mosquitoes will enter into an inactive state called diapause over the cooler winter months. Our technicians are trained to recognize and treat the areas where mosquitoes prefer to hide during the cooler months. This is part of the integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) system where we work all season long to help ensure your summers are the most enjoyable and bug free.
Please take a minute to view and give a thumbs up for this great video about diapause from Nick Sorgani www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iY0IraWwO0&feature=youtube
9Mosquito breeding grounds.
Mosquito breeding habits are diverse but unified in the fact that every species needs water for eggs to hatch and pass through two juvenile stages. Nature has provided places for water to collect such as knot holes in trees, natural places where water collects after rainstorms, and some plants that collect water. Humans have provided artificial breeding grounds that collect water such as children’s toys, stagnant pools and ponds, plant pots that collect water, plastic bowls for birds and pets to drink. Also, be wary of car tire, paint cans, or anything that can hold water and allow it to stagnate. These things can sometime “hide” in your yard!
Remember a clean yard deters mosquitoes!
10Mosquitoes vs. Craneflies.
It looks like a super-sized mosquito and it’s flying around your living room. Fatally
attracted to light, these huge insects may cause panic upon first sight. Despite
appearances, however, this seemingly dangerous insect is most likely a harmless
common crane fly and not a mosquito at all. Common crane flies appear to be enlarged versions of many mosquito species, but there are several ways to tell them apart. The easiest way is by size. A mosquito is extremely small by comparison. Some crane fly species can even reach up to three inches! Another difference is that the crane fly will have a slender, V-shaped abdomen with long legs making them poor fliers, and they usually wobble in the air. It is important to differentiate between these two bugs because mosquitoes transmit diseases. Crane flies cannot bite and they do not carry diseases.
11Mosquitoes, ticks and your pets
Mosquitoes and pets do not mix. Your pets are not immune to mosquito bites – they can suffer as much as you do. But when it comes to mosquito bites, pets face some risks that humans don’t. The biggest threat pets face from mosquito bites is heartworm, a potentially deadly infection. And, just like in humans, dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for most of the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog. And, Mosquito Hunters will help protect your yard, your family and your pets from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Talk to your vet about protecting your dog against heart worm and ticks, if you have not already done so. Our pets are our family members. We love them and want to protect them just like our children!
12Mosquitoes and temperature.
Temperature plays a huge part in the mosquito development and life cycle with most common mosquito activity beginning in the 50 F range. Once the weather starts to warm to about 50 degrees for several days, the mosquitoes come out to play! That is the time to “take back your yard!” Likewise, once the temperature cools, our Mosquito Hunters technicians will stop servicing your outdoor space.