DRAGONFLIES: THE BEST NATURAL PEST CONTROL FOR MOSQUITOES
If you think that the most dangerous creatures on the planet are lions, or alligators, or snakes, they’re not. It is also not sharks, spiders, bears, or any other animal you can think of. Believe it or not, it is the tiny mosquitoes that have always been the deadliest creatures on the planet. Physically, mosquitoes do not look like they amount to much, but nothing else can beat their body count. Mosquitoes have murdered more people than all the wars in history combined.
The current coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront the dangers of bats, or at least eating them. Some cultures treat them as delicacies, and this may have finally caught up with us. Scientists claim that the virus that has infected more than 20 million people and caused the death of around 700,000 came from bats. Yet this pales in comparison to the dangers that mosquitoes bring, and hopefully people are still as wary of mosquitoes as they are with the coronavirus. We will have to keep in mind that mosquitoes never call for a ceasefire; they will continue to spread diseases regardless whether we are in a pandemic or not.
Mosquitoes transmit various types of deadly diseases, including dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, Zika virus, and the West Nile virus. If you are reading this, there is a big chance that you are having problems with mosquitoes in your home. If you are from Raleigh, then you are in luck. The best pest management for mosquitoes in Raleigh is just within your reach.
To combat mosquitoes, one should learn how to identify what a mosquito is: its appearance, breeding habits, and feeding patterns.
There are around 3,000 species of mosquitoes on earth, but merely three of them are known to spread diseases. Mosquitoes are small insects that are labeled as invertebrates. It’s scientific name is Culicidae. There are three types of mosquitoes: the Culex mosquitoes, which carry the West Nile virus and encephalitis, and filariasis; the Anopheles mosquitoes which transmit malaria; and the Aedes, which transmit dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.
Mosquitoes can grow to about .125 to .75 inch in length and weigh .000088 ounce. They have slim, jointed bodies. They have a pair of wings, six legs, a prolonged mouthpart called proboscis, and antennae connected to their heads. Mosquitoes are described as one of the slowest flying insects, they travel at a speed of only 1.5 miles per hour. They are so lightweight that it is very easy to disrupt their flight patterns using the wind coming from an electric fan.
It is only the female mosquitoes that have the necessary mouthparts that can suck blood. Their mouths have two cylinders: one is for injecting enzymes that would prevent blood thickening, and the other one is for drinking blood. It is only the female adult mosquitoes that can bite and spread infections. The male mosquitoes can feed only on nectar coming from flowers.
Mosquitoes have impaired eyesight and can only rely on the carbon dioxide given off by humans or animals to find them. Aside from that, they likewise use odor to help them locate a host.
Mosquito Life Cycle
Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis throughout their worthless lives. The mosquitoes’ development cycle starts from being eggs, onto the larvae stage, to pupae and finally the adult stage. Female mosquitoes breed on water that have become static for at least a week. Mosquitoes can survive to as long as 5 to 6 months.
Mosquitoes lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time, and can do so all throughout their lives.
This is why they are so nasty: the illnesses that they spread are deadly. Among the destructive diseases they spread are the following:
Yellow fever – Typically, there are no symptoms for most individuals who are infected with yellow fever. Those with symptoms, however, will have fever, severe headache, chills, vomiting, body pains, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. Then a few more patients will have a further severe phase in a span of one day. Jaundice, high fever, black urine, and abdominal pains will turn up in more extreme cases. It is called yellow fever due to the jaundice that pops up in some of the victims. There may be bleeding in the eyes, nose, mouth, and stomach. Death may result after 7 to 10 days.
West Nile Fever -This is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States. Of the individuals who are affected, merely 20 percent show symptoms. Symptoms include mild fever, headaches, body aches, vision loss, diarrhea, numbness, body rashes, inflamed lymph glands, muscle instability, and paralysis. These manifestations generally appear after 3 days to two weeks of being bitten. Some individuals will display serious symptoms after, like meningitis and permanent brain deterioration. This could be fatal and the victim may die. The elderly and those with medical conditions are at greater risk of having severe symptoms. Doctors may require tests to check if you acquired the virus.
Malaria – Malaria is passed on by a female Anopheles mosquito. Though this disease is more common in people from other countries, Americans are nevertheless susceptible to having it. Americans get malaria owing to increased travel to countries where the disease is endemic. Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, chills nausea, muscle aches, and tiredness. If not cured within 24 hours, malaria can advance to a more serious illness and even death. Consult a specialist if you think you are infected with this disease.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
There are some DIY ways you can do in order to get rid of mosquitoes. Before you think about hiring professionals, try these tips first.
- If you are going outdoors, protect yourself by wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants. This will minimize skin exposure to mosquitoes.
- Use mosquito repellent with the active ingredient DEET for added protection.
- At home, use window screens. Make sure that your doors and windows are closed.
- In the bedroom, use a mosquito net as you sleep. Mosquitoes somehow find their way in bedrooms.
- Electric fans can disrupt their flight patterns, so take advantage of it.
- Remove items that can hold water for a long time.
Dragonflies: The Natural Mosquito Killers
These gentle insects are useful in getting rid of mosquitoes. They eat mosquitoes at all stages. Dragonflies can be spotted circling around foraging for mosquitoes and other pests.
Among all beneficial insects, the dragonflies are the best mosquito repellents there is. They feed on flying mosquitoes, but they are also aquatic insect predators. Dragonflies eat mosquito larvae as well. They are most potent feeding on larvae when controlling mosquito populations. As for the adult mosquitoes, dragonflies can eat at least 100 mosquitoes per day.
Now, how do you draw dragonflies?
One of the primary ways to draw dragonflies to your area is to place a small body of water such as a pond in your yard. Dragonflies are aquatic insect predators, so a small body of water will draw them to your space. Like the mosquitoes, they lay their eggs in the water.
Another alternative is to develop a host of plants that will appeal to the dragonflies. Plant trees and shrubs around your garden. This will provide them sanctuary. Blooming plants are likewise acceptable, since they attract pollinators. It is relevant to note that dragonflies are attracted to flowers as well.
Listed below are plants that you may choose to so you can attract dragonflies:
White Yarrow – White yarrows are perennial wildflowers that can be characterized as a plant that can make a plethora of massive clusters packed with around 20 white blossoms. Their foliage is immune to diseases. They attract butterflies and parasitic wasps which attract dragonflies. This plant flourishes in clear sunlight and carefully drained soils. It is likewise remarkably easy to cultivate.
Meadow sage – Meadow sages are perennial, violet colored flowers that attract small insects which dragonflies prey on. This plant certainly does not require much water, only lots of sunlight. It loves full sun but will also work out well in partial shade.
Joe-Pye weed – Joe-Pye weeds are plants that produce pale pink flowers. This plant can develop to 3 feet to 12 feet, and attracts butterflies and other pollinators that dragonflies feed on. It smells like vanilla. It flourishes in full or partial sunlight.
Swamp milkweed – These flowers appear in white and pink colors. They attract butterflies, wasps, and bees that dragonflies prey on. These plants like damp clay soil.
Black Eyed Susan – These plants are heat tolerant and drought resistant and attract dragonflies and other pollinators. They are translucent yellow in color. Black Eyed Susan lives for around 2 years in temperate environments. They fit well to practically every type of soil.
These plants will surely attract dragonflies. But you continue to have mosquito infestation problems, you may call the best pest control exterminators in Raleigh, Go-Forth Pest Control.
For more information, call us now.