Did there are 85 species of mosquitoes in Texas which were recognized by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s agricultural and environmental security unit personnel?
That’s loads of itch-inducing painful pests to fret about. Besides being a buzzing and biting nuisance, mosquitoes carry a number of ailments and viruses that may be harmful to folks, pets and livestock.
“It’s a mosquito’s world,” mentioned Sonja Swiger, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension veterinary entomologist in Stephenville. “Whether you see them or not, they’re throughout us.”
Our state’s heat local weather makes a main breeding floor for vector-borne diseases, so AgriLife Extension specialists hope Texans will observe Mosquito Awareness Week on June 21-27 by studying how one can stop and management these pests.
Male mosquitos feed solely on nectar, in contrast to their blood-sucking counterparts. Females additionally feed on nectar however want blood for egg manufacturing.
There are species of mosquitoes that feed through the day and species that feed at evening. That could also be why it looks like there are such a lot of mosquitoes out at daybreak and nightfall – throughout these intervals, the day and evening feeders might overlap.
Swiger mentioned through the day, grassy areas with tree protection are the place mosquitoes wish to be to keep away from the recent solar. Mosquitoes are cold-blooded and might’t regulate their physique temperature. That’s why on hotter days, they search shade and why they usually aren’t round when the thermometer dips under the mid-50s.
“People within the metropolis might not even discover mosquitoes through the day,” she mentioned. “But the species of mosquito that carries West Nile virus usually lives in additional city areas, so folks in cities usually tend to contract West Nile virus and should be conscious.”
If you reside within the nation, you’ll usually encounter extra mosquitoes through the day, particularly when it’s moist, Swiger mentioned.
“At evening, nobody is best off than anybody else relating to mosquitoes,” Swiger mentioned. “Whether you reside within the nation, suburbs or an enormous metropolis, you’ll have mosquitoes to deal with.”
Mosquitoes hibernate within the winter. Some mosquitoes spend their winter as eggs that then hatch when the climate warms up, whereas others hibernate as adults or larvae. Areas with a scorching and humid tropical local weather can expertise mosquitoes year-round.
Mosquitoes and illness
Mosquitoes can transmit viruses similar to Zika, West Nile, malaria, dengue and extra to people.
“In Texas, our greatest concern is West Nile virus,” defined Swiger. “It has been discovered all through the U.S., and we right here in Texas have skilled a lot of circumstances prior to now. It’s one thing that varies yr to yr, so there’s no method of predicting what sort of yr this will probably be.”
In 2012, Texas skilled its largest outbreak of West Nile virus in historical past with over 1,800 confirmed circumstances.
“Most of those victims reported they have been bitten at house,” Swiger mentioned. “So, it’s essential that Texans remember always and use repellant when vital.”
She mentioned dengue is the opposite most essential mosquito-related illness Texans want to concentrate on. While it’s primarily seen in South Texas, the Lower Rio Grande Valley and areas bordering Mexico, somebody that contracts it may journey anyplace.
“We additionally must do not forget that Zika continues to be on the market,” Swiger mentioned. “That is one thing that pregnant ladies specifically want to concentrate on.”
Mosquitoes and animals
Mosquitoes can transmit harmful disease-causing parasites to canines and horses too, together with canine heartworms, Eastern equine encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis and West Nile virus.
“We don’t see Eastern equine encephalitis a lot, however even one case is trigger for concern, because the mortality charge for horses with EEE is 75-80%,” Swiger mentioned. “We usually see circumstances in East Texas and might count on to have circumstances in horses once more this yr. But we haven’t seen a case in people but.”
Swiger additionally famous whereas there are at present EEE, WEE and West Nile vaccines obtainable for horses, there are none for people as but.
When you’re open air in any space the place there may very well be mosquitoes, it’s sensible to put on lengthy sleeves and lengthy pants. The tighter the weave of the material, the higher safety it would supply from bites.
When it involves topical safety, confirmed efficient mosquito repellents may have at the least one in every of these components: DEET, IR3535, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, which can even be listed as paramenthane-3, 8-diol.
The first step in mosquito prevention entails discovering and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in or close to standing water, so any stagnant water is a possible downside. Any place across the house or property the place water can acquire and sit for seven to 10 days is an issue to deal with.
Check property for standing water in clogged rain gutters, birdbaths, outdated tires, kids’s play gear, potted plant trays, tarps, holes in timber, bowls and buckets – actually something that may maintain standing water. Make positive to often change the water in any pet bowls outdoors.
Dump or drain stagnant water and switch over or cowl gadgets that catch and maintain water. Gravel or sand can be utilized to fill locations the place stagnant water collects.
If a mosquito downside wants wider management, it could be essential to name a pest management firm that focuses on mosquito administration. For some do-it-yourself choices, AgriLife Extension specialists counsel:
– Treating standing water with insecticide/larvicide.
– Applying residual sprays on yard surfaces.
– Using mosquito foggers within the yard.
If choosing a chemical resolution, at all times learn the label first and thoroughly verify to find out whether it is dangerous for human, animals, vegetation or useful bugs.
To study extra about mosquitoes, AgriLife Extension provides a Mosquito Control web site and a Mosquito Safari. The web site is also the place Mike Merchant, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension entomologist, Dallas, has created a sequence of informative mosquito movies. Follow Swiger on her weblog for extra about bugs and bugs.