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OHDEER TALKS ABOUT MOSQUITOES AND “BITES” AND EGGS AND LARVAE AND STANDING WATER

Mosquito larvae floating on still water (image credit, James Gathany, CDC)

Mosquito larvae floating on still water (image credit, James Gathany, CDC)

 

Today, here, ohDEER – the leader in all natural deer, mosquito, and tick control – talks about mosquitoes and “bites” and eggs and larvae and standing water.

For sure, an environment that certain types of mosquitoes (including those that live in ohDEER territory – the U.S. Northeast) like – more precisely, that certain type of mosquitoes that are female like on which to lay their eggs –is standing water.

Standing water during warm months is a place that female mosquitoes find a most hospitable environment for their offspring.

And only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals – and this ties back to egg laying.

You see, while for both male and female mosquitoes, fruit and plant nectar is a primary food source – the female mosquito needs the protein contained in blood to help her eggs develop.

And, another thing, a mosquito doesn’t actually bite – and that’s because it doesn’t have teeth.  It has a proboscis – something like a tube – that it inserts into skin, and through which it drinks blood.

A female mosquito, in one feeding, drinks up to three times its weight in blood.   Sufficiently full, she waits a couple days before laying eggs.

Again, Momma Mosquito likes still water for an incubator.   What she does, you see, is to land on the water and to take a drink – which scientists believe is her way of determining if the water is right for the eggs.

If the water meets her approval, she lays her eggs, one at time, and close together – with, typically,  a 100 or more, and as many as 300, eggs laid in a session – with the eggs sort of clinging together to form a raft.

“The eggs are held together, and that raft is formed through surface tension on the water,” said Kurt Upham, who founded, and, with his wife, Colleen, co-owns ohDEER.

If the eggs aren’t eaten by a predator, and the water is left unperturbed, then, depending on the type of mosquito, in about three to 14 days the eggs hatch.  The resulting larvae (they look like tiny worms), if, again, they aren’t made a meal, and the water stays still, will float for about 10 days before taking flight.

(Mosquito larvae – as can be observed in the attached photo – sort of hang upside down in water, and breathe air through a tube that breaks the water surface.  While in the larval stage, they feed on a variety of microorganisms.)

“To protect yourself from mosquitoes it is very, very important to dispose of standing water –dump it or flush it or drain it,” said Kurt.  “You want to eliminate a breeding environment.  Any place where water collects, and is still, can host mosquito eggs and larvae.”

What about bodies of water – such as small ponds and ornamental pools – that are not easily flushed and dumped or drained?

“Not as much used now, but in years past people sprayed, and applied in other ways, corn oil to water surface; that prevented eggs from developing, and it suffocated larvae.  To destroy eggs, you can distribute dish detergent on water surface and this breaks up the surface tension, and the eggs sink.”

Another mosquito killing substance that Kurt Upham recommends is a group of bacteria called Bti, which is short for – get ready, this is a long one – Bacillus thuringiensis serotype israelensis.

“Bti was developed in Israel, and it produces toxins that are lethal to mosquito larvae,” said Kurt.  “ohDEER provides Bti is a granular form, and will spread it on your property at no cost.”

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No matter the mosquito challenge, ohDEER can meet and overcome it with an all natural solution.