Take Back Your Yard from Mosquitoes
Updated: Jul 7
Once you’re settled in your new home and enjoying the new space, your backyard becomes a great asset during the warmer weather months. I spent some time recently speaking an Associate Certified Entomologist who is also a colleague and great friends, Jim Skinner, owner of a third generation pest control company called A&C Pest Management.
The majority of our discussion surrounded reclaiming your backyard in the warm weather months from Mosquitoes. A&C is a great resource and has been my “go-to” for pest control needs. My conversation with Jim just reaffirmed why that is the case.
I asked Jim for some literature on how to “reclaim your backyard.” Not only did he provide details but also a peak behind the curtain of A&C Pest Management.
Below is a portion of a letter written by Jim to the A&C Pest Management Team. He addresses certain questions we had like, “Why do some people get bit by mosquitoes and others do not?” as well as, “What is the best treatment option?”
As mosquito season is upon us. It is alway good to know the enemy that is at the gates.
It is always great when talking to a customer to talk from a strength. Our strength is knowledge. By having knowledge we know where it is best to place our treatment to be able to deliver optimal results and deliver the Peace of Mind our customers are looking for.
There are approximately 3500 different types of mosquitoes in the world. That sounds like a lot and it is but only 25 different types of mosquitoes feed on humans. Some just feed on frogs, some feed on birds, some just feed on earthworms and leeches. So if a mosquito that feeds on frogs flies by you it would not even be stimulated by you.
All mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle. Some require fresh water, some require brackish water and some require salt water.
What really brings mosquitoes out is the change of light intensity.On average a female will live about six weeks but males only live about one week. During the summer time their life expectancy could be as short as 5-7 days. Mosquitoes will lay up to 250 eggs after a blood meal.
You will hear that certain plants will keep insects away. That is true if you pulverize and mash up the plant to get to the essential oils that the plant holds. Outside of that the plant is just a great place for mosquitoes to harborage.
When it comes to Citronella candles there is no scientific evidence that it repels mosquitoes.
The Co2 that your body gives off is the first thing that attracts a female mosquito to a human, then it is your heat signature, then it is the pheromones that your body gives off. At any given time there are 350 odors that come off your skin. Those odors are from the diseases you have had in the past, the food that you eat to the life that you have lived. Everyone has their own chemical signature.
Why do some people get bit by mosquitoes and others do not?
That is a really good question. When a female mosquito is looking to feed they may be more attracted to someone that has a pheromone that is more appealing to them. Some days you want pizza and some days you want burgers mosquitoes are no different.
Some people may ask you a question along the lines of. Why is it that when I get bit nothing happens to me but when my son gets bit he swells up?
When a mosquito breaks the skin our body recognizes the mosquito saliva as a foreign substance which aims to flush it out. The swelling is a reaction that our body's immune system is kicking in. Our body sends Histamine, which increases the blood flow and white blood cells around the affected area which causes inflammation. The mosquito bite itches because the histamines also send a signal to the nerves around the bite.
Do not scratch the bite area it will make it worse and may lead to secondary infection.
Long Island Mosquitoes
Rather than know all 3500 mosquitoes let's just focus on the most common mosquitoes that we deal with here on Long Island.
A little known fact. West Nile was first discovered in the United States at the Bronx Zoo in 1999.
There is no evidence that a mosquito or a tick can transfer Covid-19 or any other Coronavirus there has been in the past such as S.A.R.S or M.E.R.S.
(Culex Pippen) Northern house mosquito. The most common mosquito in the Northeast.
They carry viruses like West nile, EEE
They can fly up to 3 to 5 miles from their breeding area. Typically if they have all of the resources around them which they do in suburbia they will only fly up to football field away. These are the mosquitoes that come out at dusk and dawn to feed.
They will lay all of their eggs in one big raft.
(Aedes Albopictus) Asian Tiger mosquito
They carry viruses like Zika, Dengue fever, Heartworm, Chikungunya Fever & Yellow fever.
They are an invasive species of mosquito from..you guessed it, Asia. In 1985 the tiger mosquito came into the US-Texas on a boat from China carrying used tires that were going to be recycled.
These are the mosquitoes that are called day time bitters, they only feed during the day. Due to how skittish they are, they have a tendency to bite their host more than once.
Aedes Albopictus was listed in the top 100 invasive species according to the global invasive species database.
Keep in mind that Aedes Albopictus is a Forest mosquito so even though it will lay hundreds of eggs, it is going to deposit eggs in a raft of approximately 10 at a time. Just like they would in the forest, they are looking for many places to lay their eggs. This allows the species the best chance of survival.
Like Ciliex Pippen they live very well around the human habitat.
I was talking with Dr Jody and she and her colleagues stated that Aisian tiger Mosquitoes really start coming out in the first week of June.
(Aedes Sollicitans) Eastern Saltwater Marsh Mosquito
They carry diseases like Â Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis and dog heartworm. They tend to stay within 5 miles of the coast but they can fly 40 to 50 miles from their breeding site. Keep in mind that even though the mosquito may lay her eggs in a pool of water, and that pool dries up, when the pool fills up again with water the eggs will hatch.Â
Always look for Dark,Cool, Moist places with No Airflow. That is where you will find the bulk of your mosquitoes.
Trimming back vegetation reduces the darkness and increases airflow.
The In2care system is a phenomenal system. It uses the mosquito's own biology against itself by breaking the life cycle of the mosquito. It does that by giving them a place to lay their eggs. They would be attracted to the In2Care System buckets by the water and the yeast tablets that are in the water. The mosquito will lay their eggs in the water which has the insect growth regulator. The eggs will hatch becoming larvae, the larva will go through its final stage into a pupa. The mosquito will die in the pupa stage therefore breaking the cycle.
As an adult mosquito lays her eggs in the In2Care water she picks up the fungus on her body, which will eventually kill her as well. The best part about the grown regulator is, as she lays her eggs in other areas she will also contaminate those bodies of water with the insect growth regulator. So as other mosquitoes lay their eggs in that body of water, one that mosquito will die as well as her offspring.
When placing the in2care system buckets make sure you are putting them in Dark, Cool, Moist Places with No Air Flow. Keep in mind when placing the In2Care system buckets that you do not want to bury them behind bushes, but place them half in and half out of the bushes.
When treating a home for mosquitoes, Do not spray the lawn, you will burn it, besides mosquitoes are in the bushes and plants. Spray the bushes keep in mind they feed on soft plants not hard trees. Chineses Red Maples are very sensitive to the product we use so make sure not to over apply to the tree.Â
When using a backpack blower. Make sure that you are moving the leaves of the plants around. Keep in mind the mosquitoes are resting and feeding on the underneath part of the leaf or plant. keeping themselves out of the sun that would dehydrate them.
Decks are great resting areas for mosquitoes. It is everything they like, Dark, Cool, Moist place with No Airflow. Make sure you pay extra attention to underneath the decks. I once sprayed under a deck and watched 150 mosquitoes fly out.Â Â
Mosquitoes make up one percent of a bats diet. Same holds true for Purple Martins.
Bug zappers: I know when you hear the sound of a bug getting zapped it is a feeling of satisfaction. Keep in mind a small mosquito does not make a sound when it is zapped. The big zapping noise comes from beetles and moths. Keep in mind when a bug is zapped it actually explodes the insect and body parts are put into the air for you to breath in (which is not good)
Things to keep in mind when talking to a customer.
We all know to let the customer know that they need to make sure that anything holding water is emptied. Here is what happens when you don't.
They counted 6,346 mosquito larva from a 10 inch frying pan.
Look for things like the dish under a planter. That will hold water and will aslo rot the roots of the plant if there is water being held in there.
When you are walking a property systematically look for things like. Old tires, outdoor sinks, buckets, pet dishes, toys, flower pots, wheel barrels, kiddy pools, ground drains or drywells. The number one spot to look for is a corrugated drain pipe. That is like the Ritz Carlton for mosquitoes. Keep in mind knots in trees are also a great breeding ground for them.
Let the customer know if they are having trouble with mosquitoes flying into their party. They can use an oscillating fan or a box fan. Mosquitoes are very light and will not be able to fly in that kind of breeze. Both male and female mosquitoes require multiple sugar meals per day for energy. They usually get these meals from plan
We thank Jim and the entire team at A&C Pest Management for sharing their insight with us on the best practice for taking back your yard. For more information you can contact the A&C Pest Management team at 516-683-8376 or visit acpest.com. We hope you enjoy the read as much as we did.
Yours in Service,
Richie Jr. & Taleen Krug