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Guide to
Globally, there are greater than 3,000 species of mosquitoes.
The United States has approximately 200 documented species
and Pennsylvania has around 60 species. Every year, diseases
generated from Mosquitoes such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue
and filarial worms kill or significant harm millions of people mostly
in poverty-stricken countries.
West Nile Virus – In Pennsylvania, the risk of contracting a mosquitoborne disease has recently increased with the introduction of West
Nile virus (WNV). Fortunately, West Nile virus poses little risk to most
Pennsylvania unless they have comprised immune systems.
Other Diseases – Other diseases of concern are eastern equine
encephalitis and canine heartworm disease (dogs only). Canine
heartworm disease is easily prevented and eastern equine encephalitis
rarely is seen far from the Atlantic coast regions. Although, the chances
of contracting a series mosquito-borne illness from mosquitoes are
minimal, the summer of 2012 posed serious threats to Pennsylvania
counties all over the state. Furthermore, there is much to be done to
increase protection from the mosquito-borne diseases.
How Do I Increase Protection? Reducing breeding locations is crucial, use
of repellents, repair of home screens and the limitation of outdoor activities
during prime breeding seasons when mosquitoes are less active.
Mosquito Description – Adult mosquitoes are slender, small longlegged flies with narrow, hairy wings and extended mouthparts.
The eggs, depending on species, are thrown on water or vegetation
in water, in tree holes and other sites that hold a high potential for
flooding. The northern house mosquito deposits its eggs on end and
side by side (called rafts) on the water surface. Some mosquito species
can complete their life cycles in as little as 7 days but the northern
house mosquito requires a minimum of 10-14 days – more often closer
to a month. The mosquito larvae are known as wrigglers because they
wriggle around in water as a method of locomotion. When undisturbed,
the wrigglers lie just below the water surface and breathe through a
tube located on their abdominal end.
West Nile Virus Disease Fact Sheet:
Homeowner Tips – Below is a list of items the homeowner can do to
help the process.
Identification – Identify any areas that hold water and ask the
homeowner to drain these items dry weekly.
• Bird Baths
• Children’s pools
• Clogged Gutters
• Toys
• Potted plants
• Bowls
• Storm drains
• Depressions on the ground
• Tires
• Anything that can hold water. Even a bottle
cap could produce mosquitoes!
Stagnant Water – Eliminate free-standing water around the property
and lawn to reduce the volume of potential mosquito breeding sites.
Ideally, this should be a community goal because most mosquitoes can
fly long distances and can fly from property to property.
The types of modifications include – With great communication and a
solid control program the reduction of mosquitoes can be accomplished
on a property. Recommend to the home or business, that the surrounding
properties would also benefit from a Mosquito program. The more
neighbors that are on a program, will greatly reduce mosquitoes from
a general area.
Exclusion – All doors and windows should fit tightly and remain closed
during the peak mosquito activity periods between dusk and dawn.
Screening should be no larger than 18 x 18 mesh. Replace screening
that has holes or tears.
Regional Mosquito Resources:
PA County West Nile Virus Coordinators
Mosquito Control Commission of New Jersey
Delaware Mosquito Control
Green Pest Solutions • 877.636.9469 • [email protected] •