California is home to many different pests, including tiny mosquitoes. If you’ve noticed more bites than usual this summer or feel like you are being attacked by smaller, more aggressive mosquitoes, you aren’t alone. There are two types of invasive (meaning non-native) mosquitoes feasting their way throughout SoCal, biting on feet and ankles and making life miserable for many southern Californians.
So what is the deal with these tiny non-native mosquitoes, and are we stuck with them forever? Follow along as Brooks Pest Control explains what these small annoying mosquitoes are, why they are such a nuisance, and what we might be able to do to prevent them.
What Are Tiny Mosquitoes Called
The tiny mosquitoes found in Southern California are called Aedes mosquitoes.
What Do Tiny Mosquitoes Look Like
Aedes are small, black mosquitoes with white stripes on their back and legs. Not only are they smaller than native mosquitoes, being only 4 to 7 millimeters in size, but they are more narrow and have unique patterns of light and dark scales on the abdomen and thorax.
Where Do Tiny Mosquitoes Live?
Like native mosquitoes, these annoying critters breed in stagnant water, finding homes in just about anything with water. This includes household items such as:
- Flower vases
- Pet water dishes
- Saucers from potted plants
- Coffee maker trays
When they are not breeding, they like to rest in cool, shaded areas such as in your trees and shrubs or tall grassy areas. Sightings of them living inside the home under beds and in dark closets have also been reported.
Why Are Mosquitoes So Dangerous
There are several reasons why the Aedes mosquito is such a huge problem. A few of them include:
Mosquitoes Carry Diseases
These dreadful mosquitoes are the primary carriers of several dangerous diseases, including the dengue virus, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus. In fact, a few years back, the Aedes mosquitoes were responsible for the Zika outbreaks in Florida, Texas, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
They Are Difficult to Manage and Control
Aedes mosquito eggs can survive dry conditions for several months. If eggs are laid in a dry container, new mosquitoes only develop when the container is filled with water. Once stagnant water is added, these insects only take a week to become full-fledged flying adults! Their ability to stick to the walls of containers and live during periods of dryness has made it very difficult to eliminate mosquito populations completely.
These harrowing mosquitoes are aggressive biters, often referred to as ankle biters, because they especially like to feed on our ankles, elbows, and feet. And since the Aedes mosquito is an invasive species new to our area, many folks have not yet built up a tolerance causing a higher chance of suffering an allergic reaction.
How To Prevent Tiny Mosquitoes
The best way to prevent these mosquitoes from taking over your property is to stop them from breeding. Because they need stagnant water to lay their eggs, the first step in prevention is to remove all forms of stagnant water from your property.
After removing all stagnant water from your property, you can do several other things to help prevent an Aedes mosquito from taking over. These include:
- Keep tall grass and weedy areas on your property to a minimum since this is where they like to hang out when not breeding.
- Always place a tight lid on containers used for water storage.
- Maintain running water in ornamental fountains and birdbaths or use bacterial insecticides.
- Keep swimming pools in good working condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty kiddie pools when not in use.
- Keep gutters clean from debris which can lead to standing water.
- Plant a few of the flowers mosquitoes hate the smell of around your property, such as lemongrass, lavender, marigolds, citronella grass, and rosemary.
- Use screen doors on windows and patios to help keep them outside
- Switch to LED lighting around the outside of your home. LED lights give out warmer tones and emit less heat, thus attracting fewer mosquitoes.
- Install an overhead fan. Mosquitoes have wings but are actually weak flyers and struggle in the wind.
- Apply insect repellent containing an EPA-approved active ingredient such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Invest in Recurring Mosquito Control for Long-Lasting Relief
While all of the methods listed above are successful at helping to control the mosquito population on your property, At Brooks Pest Control, we believe that recurring mosquito control is the best way to effectively reduce populations over time. We offer a recurring mosquito control program with targeted treatments for long-lasting relief. Do you live in Corona, Fountain Valley, or the surrounding area? Contact us today for all your pest control needs!