Mosquito FAQs’ & mosquito spraying

Mosquito Uof FlPest Management

Mosquito FAQs

  • AreMosquitoes attracted to some people more than others?
  • Are Mosquitoes just blood thirsty pests?
  • How much blood do they take ?
  • Who do Mosquitoes usually bite?
  • How Many Kinds of Mosquitoes are there?
  • What purpose do Mosquitoes serve ?
  • How Long do Adult Mosquitoes live?
  • Why do Mosquito bites itch and leave a welt?
  • What diseases do Mosquitoes carry?
  • What about AIDS/ Do Mosquitoes transmit AIDS?
  • What is St.Louis Encephalitis [SLE]?
  • How can a person get SLE?
  • What Mosquito Repellant works the best?
  • What about Bug zappers? How effective are they?

*Are Mosquitoes attracted to some people more than others?

Yes. The attraction to humans is very complex. Basically, mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide coming from the breath and pores of humans. In addition, some mosquito species are attracted to certain fragrances and colors. If you wish to be less attractive to mosquitoes, try using products that are unscented (i.e. hair spray, deodorant, soap, etc.) and light colored clothing. You can also try wearing commercially available, proven mosquito repellents. The most common proven repellent is N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide or DEET. Be sure to read the entire label before using.?

*Are Mosquitoes just blood thirsty Pests?

No. Mosquitoes don’t use your blood for food. They eat plant juices and flower nectar for energy. The female mosquito (the only one that bites) needs the protein found in blood to help her eggs grow and mature before she lays them.

*How much Blood do they take?

On the average, mosquitoes take one millionth of a gallon of blood with each bite. That means it would take 1,120,000 bites to drain all the blood from an average adult human.

*Who do Mosquitoes usually Bite?

Mosquitoes have developed the ability to take a blood meal (bite) just about any creature with blood. That means mammals (us, cats, dogs, cows, etc.), birds, reptiles (even snakes!), and amphibians.

*How Many Kinds of Mosquitoes are there?

Here in Charlotte county, we have about 37 different types (or species) of mosquitoes. In Florida, there are 76 different species form 12 different genera, approximately 30 of which occur throughout the entire state. In North America, there are about 1,200 different types. There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide. Each type of mosquito has a common name and a scientific name. An example of this would be the gallinipper, also known as Psorophora ciliata.

*What purpose do Mosquitoes serve?

Mosquitoes play an important role in the ecosystem. During their aquatic phase, mosquitoes provide food for other aquatic insects such as dragonfly and damselfly nymphs, beetles, and water scorpions, fish, bacteria, fungus, frogs, and other water-dwelling animals. As adults, they provide food for bats, birds, other insects, lizards, and spiders. They also provide work for pesticide manufacturers, health specialists, mosquito control personnel, and entomologists. When mosquitoes feed on plant juices and flower nectar for energy, they perform the important service of pollinator to these plants.

*How Long do Adult Mosquitoes live?

The life span of a mosquito varies widely from species to species. Male mosquitoes typically live for only about 2 weeks. On the other hand, the female may survive for 6 weeks to about 5 months, depending on the species and the time of year.

*Why do Mosquito bites itch and leave a Welt?

When the female mosquito bites, she injects a small amount of saliva into your capillary, the small blood vessel from which she takes her blood meal. This saliva makes the penetration of her proboscis (mouthparts) easier and prevents the blood from quickly clotting. The welt or red bump that appears after the bite are actually a mild allergic reaction to the saliva. Some people are more allergic to mosquito saliva than others and tend to get larger welts. Some people may be more allergic to one type of mosquito than other types. The swelling and itching may last from a few hours to a few days. Occasionally, individuals may be highly sensitive to mosquito saliva and swell significantly. In any case, you should avoid scratching these welts to prevent the introduction of bacteria causing an infection.

*What diseases do Mosquitoes carry?

Mosquitoes kill more than one million people each year with the deadly diseases they transmit. These diseases include malaria, filariasis, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis (mainly the St. Louis and Eastern Equine strains). They can also transmit heartworm to dogs and cats. However, not all mosquitoes carry diseases. Each disease is transmitted by only a few species of mosquito. Here in Florida and Charlotte county, we mainly focus on St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) and to a lesser extent, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). We have not yet seen the West Nile Virus in Florida, but our Department is cooperating with the Florida Department of Health in monitoring for any activity.

*What about AIDS? Do Mosquitoes transmit that?

Mosquitoes ABSOLUTELY DO NOT transmit the HIV virus that causes AIDS. If HIV infected blood is taken in by the mosquito, the virus is digested and quickly dies in the mosquito’s stomach. Because it cannot survive in the mosquito’s stomach, it cannot replicate and migrate to the salivary glands for further transmission (the path all mosquito-borne diseases must take to be transmitted).

*What is St. Louis Encephalitis [SLE]?

St. Louis Encephalitis, or SLE, is a mosquito-transmitted viral disease. It was first recognized in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1933. Symptoms of SLE are similar to other viral infections and may include high fever, nausea, severe headaches, and tiredness. The severity of the symptoms vary from person to person. They can range from no symptoms to mild flu-like symptoms to severe flu-like symptoms and even death. Only 1 in 200 people who become infected with the SLE virus will develop the disease. The likelihood of developing SLE symptoms is generally higher for older people.

*How can a Person get SLE?

You can only get SLE from the bite of any infected mosquito. It is not transmitted from person to person or animal to person. Only a few species of mosquitoes in a given area are capable of transmitting SLE. Mosquitoes pick up the virus from the blood of wild birds that are carrying the disease. The birds themselves are not sick. The virus incubates and multiplies in the mosquito’s body and eventually migrates to the mosquito’s salivary glands. This process takes about two weeks. In Florida and Charlotte county, the mosquito that is most often responsible for SLE transmission is Culex nigripalpus, a fresh and stagnant water breeder.

*What Mosquito repellant works the Best ?

The most effective repellents are those which contain N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide or DEET. DEET has been sold in the U.S. since 1956 and is used by 50-100 million people each year. It repels mosquitoes, no-see-ums, fleas, ticks, gnats, horse flies, deer flies, yellow flies, and chiggers. Repellents with DEET are available as pump sprays, aerosols, lotions, creams, soaps, and sticks. Be sure to read the label carefully. Repellents with 30-40% DEET work twice as well as repellents with 75% DEET. It is always best to use the lowest concentration that is effective for you. Other products that do not contain DEET as the active ingredient have limited success that vary from person to person. Do not apply DEET to your pets because it can make them sick when they lick it off of their fur.

*What about Bug Zapper? How effective are they?

Regardless of the brand name or type of light, bug zappers do not reduce the number of mosquito bites you will get. Studies have shown that although mosquitoes are killed by the devices, their lights attract more mosquitoes into the area than would be there without the devices, just like a porch light. They also kill beneficial insects such as dragonflies that eat mosquitoes. If you already own a bug zapper and want to use it just to get the satisfaction of hearing the “zap”, then place it where it will attract mosquitoes away from the area you want to protect.

*Can Mosquitoes be treated prior to a Special event or garden wedding or out door party?

Yes; Treating before an organized event is a good idea, especially if it is an evening event.


*How long do the chemicals last once they have been sprayed?

The longevity of a chemical depends on the chemical used and the weather conditions at the time of application. Weather in the immediate area of the spraying affects chemical droplet dispersion and deposit and ultimately its effectiveness. In general, the chemical can be gone within 60  minutes of application or last almost 2 weeks after application.

Jensen Beach,central florida


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