With summer quickly approaching, more and more individuals are looking forward to outdoor barbeques, pool parties, get-togethers, or simply spending a quiet afternoon on their outdoor patio reading their favorite book with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Whatever you plan to use your outdoor space for, one thing we can all agree on is that mosquitoes can turn a nice day into an itchy nightmare.
While most people are initially concerned with the itchy bites that mosquitoes create, there are more pressing health concerns, such as the Zika virus, when it comes to these annoying pests.
For property owners in Houston, having effective mosquito control is crucial. While mosquitoes may be prevalent all over the United States, they are a growing problem in the city of Houston, Texas. Your dedicated mosquito control professionals at Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros have looked into what makes Houston a favorable spot for mosquitoes and how you can protect your outdoor living space from mosquitoes moving in and calling it home.
Why Is the Mosquito Problem Growing in Houston, Texas?
Houston’s high level of humidity and warm climate make it one of the best environments for mosquitoes. This humidity and the naturally warm climate is due to its location on the Gulf Coast. But two other factors that make Houston a popular spot for these bloodsucking pests.
Houston Has a Moist Climate
Houston is also notorious for its vast amounts of rainstorms throughout the year, along with the occasional tropical storm or hurricane. This helps keep Houston’s lands moist, as puddles and other shallow bodies of water around yards create the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. It only takes an inch of water for mosquitoes to breed.
There Is Plenty of Food
While most individuals know that mosquitoes need blood to survive they also need sugar. This sugar can easily be found in the flowers and plants that are native to the Houston area.
What Types of Mosquitoes Thrive In Houston, Texas?
There are more than 175 species of mosquitoes that live in the United States, and 50 of those species reside in Houston. While this may seem like a terrifying number, only a handful of them are dangerous to humans.
Mosquitoes can be identified by their color, shape, size, habitat, and what time of the day/year they are active. Here are the four most common types of mosquitoes that can cause potential problems for homes and business owners.
The Yellow Fever Mosquito
The yellow fever mosquito is a dangerous species of mosquito that loves Houston’s warm climate. They are the primary carrier of the Zika virus but have also been known to spread dengue fever and yellow fever. Unlike other types of mosquitoes, the yellow fever mosquito prefers human blood over animal blood, which is why removing them from your outdoor living spaces is extremely important.
What Do They Look Like? These mosquitoes are known for their black bodies with white scales on their middle section and white bands on their legs.
When Are They Active? They are generally active during the daytime, such as early morning and late afternoon. If there is plenty of lighting, the yellow fever mosquito may also become active at night. This type of mosquito breeds year-round in the southern regions of the United States, such as Houston, and does follow a specific season. They are active year-round, making mosquito control an essential part of homeownership or for your business.
Where Do They Breed? They prefer areas where stagnant water is readily available. They often make homes in puddles found in darker places, such as in discarded tiles, flower vases, or discarded toilet tanks.
Asian Tiger Mosquito
First discovered in Houston, Texas, the asian tiger mosquito also is known to spread the dengue virus along with the West Nile virus, and heartworms through bites on exposed skin. These mosquitoes have no preference over humans vs. animals when it comes to which one they bite more frequently, which is why dogs should also be on regular heartworm medicine.
What Do They Look Like? These mosquitoes are known for their petite size. They are dark in color with white stripes on their body and legs.
When Are They Active? These mosquitoes are active during the day and are very aggressive in their territories. The female asian tiger mosquito will bite its target multiple times, only stopping after she has had her fill and can produce eggs.
Where Do They Breed? These mosquitoes also breed in bottles, flower pots, plastic cups, and other small items that have shallow amounts of standing water. Unlike the Yellow Fever Mosquito that moves around, these mosquitoes typically do not move more than half of a mile from their breeding site.
The Common Malaria Mosquito
The common malaria mosquito is the known transmitter of malaria in humans and heart-worms in dogs. It can also carry and transmit the West Nile Virus, though this isn’t as common.
These mosquitoes love to feast on both people and pets, posing a huge health risk for your whole family.
What Do They Look Like? These mosquitoes are known for their large size, dark color, and unique posture. It rests on its stomach, pointing upwards as opposed to lying flat on a surface.
When Are They Active? The common malaria mosquito is most active from dusk, throughout the night, and just before dawn.
Where do they breed? Females of this species only live for a couple of weeks to a month. They mate multiple times in their short lifetimes, producing thousands of eggs. She lays up to 200 eggs at once and generally chooses where mild vegetation is present, such as freshwater swamps, edges of ponds, or lakes or reservoirs. These eggs take about 2-3 days to even three weeks to hatch, depending on the conditions in the environment.
Common House Mosquito
The common house mosquito is the most common mosquito species in the United States, mostly infesting urban and suburban areas. These mosquitoes are known carriers of the West Nile Virus, heartworms for dogs, bird Malaria, Western Equine Encephalitis, and St. Louis Encephalitis.
The common house mosquito is considered a bridge transmitter, as it usually starts with the mosquito biting an infected animal and then biting another, which then spreads the disease.
What Do They Look Like? The common house mosquito is characterized by its medium size. Adults can reach up to one-fourth of an inch. Their bodies are brown and they have gray-brown wings. The female will lay her eggs in areas that have polluted water, such as a stagnant pond or a broken septic system.
When Are They Active? This species is most active in the summer months, biting in the evening or within the first few hours of the night.
How Can I Protect My Property From Mosquitoes?
There are several steps you can take to help prevent mosquitoes from making a home out of your yard. One of the best things you can do is to remove any items from your property that may collect standing water, such as old cups, old tires, etc. Also, ensuring that any ponds or bodies of water have some kind of circulation will prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs there, as the movement of the water will destroy them.
Having outdoor fans installed for your outdoor living spaces, such as a covered patio or outdoor kitchen area will help create movement in the air which will discourage mosquitoes from approaching these areas, as they do not do well in windy conditions.
The Best Way To Protect Your Home; Mosquito Control
Mosquito control is the best way to keep your property safe from pesky mosquitoes. While some businesses may try to push natural plants as the solution, the truth of the matter is that they do not work for every type of mosquito. The best solution is either to invest in monthly manual mosquito fogging services or an automatic mosquito misting system.
What Is Manual Mosquito Fogging?
Manual mosquito fogging is a service that can rid your property of mosquitoes quickly. This solution is best for areas that need a quick fix, such as before a wedding or outdoor party.
What Is an Automatic Mosquito Misting System?
Instead of having to schedule a monthly fogging service, an automatic mosquito misting system will provide you with comprehensive protection year-round. These systems are designed to give off a small amount of insecticide at dusk and dawn when the mosquitoes and other biting insects are most active. The insecticide used by Unique Outdoor and Illumination Pros is gentle enough to not harm to helpful insects such as bees and butterflies while still being tough on mosquitoes. It also is safe to use around children and pets, making it one of the best solutions for mosquito control in the Houston area.
Defend Your Property Against Mosquitoes With Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros.
As Mosquito season comes around, it is time to get your home or business protected against pesky mosquitoes. Whether you choose to go with our automatic mosquito misting system or are wanting to get manual mosquito misting services to prepare your yard for your next outdoor event, you can rely on our team to help. Our services are always overseen by a certified applicator who is licensed in the state of Texas. This ensures consistent results. We also offer automatic mosquito misting refill and maintenance services, to ensure that there is never a gap in your coverage. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule an appointment!