There are more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes all over the world and 300 different species in Australia. Many female mosquitoes are carriers of dangerous diseases. The most common type of diseases is Dengue Fever, Ross River Virus Disease, Encephalitis and Barmah Forset Virus Disease. In addition, these insects’ causes major disruption in the human population may it be in recreational, social or occupational activities through their persistent biting and buzzing. A mosquito’s bite is also irritating to the skin; it causes itching, redness and swelling in the bitten area.
Life Cycle of a Mosquito
A female mosquito can live up to 2-3 weeks and the male mosquitos life span is shorter. Both male and female adult mosquito will feed on plant fluids, but only a female will seek blood for protein source for the development of her eggs. There are factors that can attract female mosquitoes to bite, these includes body odours, carbon dioxide, heat or air movement. The female lays her eggs in stagnant water, on hatching the larvae grows through four stages of instars after two weeks of development it will turn into an active pupa from which will become a mosquito after 2 days, then later feed, mate, develop eggs for another generation of mosquitoes.
Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites
- Avoid going outdoors the first few hours after dark.
- Wear loose long sleeve clothing when going outdoors
- Use a mosquito repellent lotion, cream or spray- available at your local supermarket.
- Use mosquito nets when camping
Prevention of Mosquito Infestation
To successfully control mosquito, it is essential to focus on eliminating possible breeding areas. These include:
- Water sitting stagnant in old tires
- Water in Bird baths should be replaced on a daily basis
- Blocked drains and roof gutters should be checked for stagnant water and cleaned of debris and leaves.
- Water gardens and empty water ponds should be checked and treated.
- Open containers such as used jars, empty cans and bottle- anything that can hold stagnant water should be disposed properly.
Fogging can also be an option to control mosquitoes, but only a professional pest expert can do it. Treatment is usually done at dusk, when mosquitoes are active. A fogging machine is use that sprays a high-pressure mist around your home; this treatment is done on a 3 monthly program.