We’ve all heard about the Asian Tiger mosquito. It’s the aggressive day feeding mosquito with tiger-like stripes. The Asian Tiger spreads West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, and Dengue Fever among other diseases. This little bugger’s scientific name is Aedes Albopictus. It’s also known as the Forest Day mosquito but don’t be fooled; they are out in cities, suburbs, and anywhere else they can breed in standing water.
There are approximately 3,000 mosquito species found in the world. You may think only warm or temperate climates have mosquitoes. If so, don’t try to explain your theory to anyone living in Alaska. Alaska has over 40 mosquito species, including a mosquito they have nicknamed the snow mosquito. There are 6 species of snow mosquitoes. They stay active during the winter, but more are seen in early spring. These species move more slowly than other species of mosquitoes. Some Alaskans call them “training mosquitoes” since smaller and faster mosquitoes will arrive soon after snow mosquitoes are spotted in the spring. Massachusetts has 50 mosquito species. With 50 species, comes more than one disease. The most frequently discussed mosquito disease in our state is the West Nile virus. West Nile was first identified in Massachusetts in the year 2000. In Central Mass, 6 of the 50 mosquito species have been identified as carriers of the West Nile virus. One of our very common summer mosquitoes, Aedes vexans, is capable of transmitting both West Nile virus and EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis). Its common name is Inland Floodwater Mosquito. It is a prolific species and can produce several generations of mosquitoes during one summer. Culex pipiens is a year-round mosquito in Central Mass and is one that lives in our homes. Its common name is the house mosquito. It is a known vector for West Nile virus.
Mosquito Diseases in Central Massachusetts
Culex pipiensis the mosquito most responsible for the bites we get while sleeping. Although we are often concerned with West Nile, our pets are more likely to become infected with a mosquito-borne disease than we are. 3 mosquito species in Central Mass are responsible for dog heartworm. The mosquito infecting our dogs the most is Ochlerotatus Canadensis. The common name is the Woodland Pool Mosquito. This species is most common in late spring and summer. It has also been linked to the transmission of EEE from birds to humans. Mosquito species are extremely varied inhabits, habitat, daytime and nighttime activity, preferences in their blood meal hosts, preference for laying eggs in fresh, polluted or salty water; the differences go on and on.
Some mosquito larvae even eat other mosquito larvae and are capable of becoming cannibals of their species to survive. And yes, we even have our snow mosquito. Ochlerotatus communis larvae are the most common mosquito species in deep snow pools and are often found in elevations above 1500 ft. The spread of mosquito species and their diseases has increased as trade and travel have made our world smaller in the past 50+ years. During this period we have also become more knowledgeable about the differences in mosquito species and their diseases. Mosquitoes are here to stay. What we continue to learn is how to protect our pets and ourselves better, as our knowledge of each mosquito species increases. One thing we have learned that works are reducing our exposure to mosquito bites and diseases. Using a barrier spray in areas where we spend the most time outdoors is an effective method in reducing our exposure to these pests. Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford & Cambridge barrier sprays is 75-85% effective in eliminating mosquitoes from your yard.
Give us a call today at (978) 381-4028 and allow us to make your yard less inviting to mosquitoes!