Does It Feel as If We Went from a Relatively Light Mosquito Population This Year to a Sudden Infestation?
NBC Channel 5 news recently reported on the high level of the mosquito population. “If it feels like mosquitoes are everywhere right now, it’s not your imagination.”
But what kind of mosquitoes are they? We spend so much time talking about mosquitoes that carry West Nile and Zika, but these are a different type entirely. Right now what you are seeing are floodwater mosquitoes. They carry heartworms, they are aggressive, and their bites carry a higher level of pain than many other mosquitoes according to Dr. Michael Merchant, an entomologist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile can get washed away after a storm because they thrive in dirty stagnant water. Floodwater mosquitoes, however, are just waiting for the storm to arrive… literally.
Characteristics of Floodwater Mosquitoes
After a storm floodwater mosquitoes are the first to appear. These include salt marsh mosquitoes (Aedes taeniorhynchus and Aedes sollicitans_) and pastureland mosquitoes (Psorophora columbiae, Psorophora cyanescens, and Aedes vexans). Floodwater mosquitoes are called as such because they lay their eggs near water instead of in it. They may find the soil just above the waterline of retention ponds or irrigated areas or near larger bodies of water such as lakes and rivers where water can rise. The eggs can lay dormant for years, but when the water does rise it only takes them 5-7 days to hatch. This is why in times of extreme storms or flooding we suddenly become inundated with floodwater mosquitoes.
As the water rises everywhere more and more eggs hatch. Floodwater mosquitoes prefer warmer water full of bacteria and algae. This type of mosquito is able to produce several generations each season. While most other types of mosquitoes only live 3 – 6 weeks they can live up to 3 months allowing them to reproduce many times over. When looking for a meal, floodwater mosquitoes prefer larger mammals. Horses, cows, humans appear to be their favorite. Lucky us.
Mosquito Season Rages On
As you understand why there suddenly seems to be scores more mosquitoes after the rain, don’t forget when the storm is over the water will sit. That will attract a whole different type of mosquito as well and with temperatures still quite warm here they aren’t likely to disappear for a while.
At Mosquito Squad of South Central Texas, we urge you to clean up quickly after the water is gone. Standing water perpetuates an already hefty mosquito population. The repellent is a necessity as well these days, especially with the excess of mosquitoes that we are seeing. However, when you are at home you don’t have to rely on skin repellent. Treating your yard is a far more reliable, less messy, and less stressful plan. Our barrier spray will eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard and continue to work for up to 3 weeks. And yes this includes after the storm. Our spray only needs 30 minutes to dry, so you are covered even after the rain. Call (830) 254-5176 today and let us get rid of those annoying and painful biting floodwater mosquitoes. We'll also keep the next round of mosquitoes at bay, no matter the variety!