Here in Raleigh, we’re no strangers to mosquitoes. In fact, they’re unwelcome guests at most of our outdoor events (and sometimes even our indoor ones). From our backyard barbeques to our park picnics to our Friday night football games, these buzzing buggers know how to ruin our good times. But far from being merely annoying intruders, mosquitoes can be downright dangerous. In fact, because they kill more people than any other, they’re considered the most dangerous animal on Earth. Let’s talk about some of the most common questions Raleigh residents have about these annoying and potentially-dangerous pests.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite You?
In a word: food. Both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and sap to get their energy. However, in order to lay their eggs, female mosquitoes need to feed on blood to get protein. Therefore, only female mosquitoes bite. They feed by landing on you, spitting on the target area with anesthetic saliva, and using their long mandibles to dig into your skin and create an opening. Finally, they inject their needle-like jaws into your flesh to drink your blood through one tube while continuing to inject you with anesthetic saliva with the other.
Is It Bad If A Mosquito Bites You?
Most of the time, it’s not really a big deal to be bitten by a mosquito. Bites can be itchy and inflamed, but normally they’ll go away on their own without much intervention. However, if you’re bitten by a disease-infected mosquito, that insect could pass you any one of a number of serious illnesses.
Probably the most well-known mosquito-borne illness is malaria. Fortunately this disease is no longer a big concern in the United States, but we’ve still got plenty of other mosquito-borne illnesses to worry about, including zika virus, West Nile virus, and several different types of encephalitis.
How Many Times Will One Mosquito Bite You? Can They Bite Through Clothing?
There’s no limit on how many times a mosquito can bite. Female mosquitoes usually get their fill after one good meal, but they’ll lay their eggs two to three days after that and be back out for blood again. Mosquitoes don’t need unexposed skin in order to bite you: they can bite through very thin clothing, such as sheer fabrics. They can also get through loosely woven clothing as well, but things like a standard sweatshirt or long-sleeved cotton t-shirt will help to stop them.
What Smells Do Mosquitoes Hate? How Can I Avoid Them?
Lots of natural scents can repel mosquitoes, including citronella, clove, cedarwood, eucalyptus, and peppermint. You can use these scents on your skin or burn them to ward off mosquitoes naturally. Keeping these plants around your property can help discourage mosquitoes as well.
You can also keep mosquitoes at bay by eliminating places for them to breed:
Get rid of standing water on your property, like dog bowls, birdbaths, and kiddie pools.
If you can’t get rid of this water, change it every 2 to 3 days.
Treat large bodies of water like ponds and pools with chlorine or other chemicals to discourage egg development.
Make sure there are no other sources of standing water like clogged gutters or drains on your property. Mosquitoes don’t
need a lot of water to lay a lot of eggs, so even little stagnant puddles can pose a problem.
If you still can’t seem to get rid of mosquitoes, even with all these preventative measures, it’s probably time to call in the experts. Here at Pest & Termite Consultants, we’ve been taking care of bug business in the Raleigh area for over 25 years. Our home and commercial pest services are contract and commitment-free and tailored to fit your needs. If you’re ready to get rid of the mosquitoes infesting your property, give us a call at (256) 377-6301 or visit our contact page to schedule service today.