Mosquitoes can ruin a lot of fun, making summer picnics, backyard barbecues, evening strolls, and other outdoor activities a biting frenzy. These pesky little creatures will silently torment you from dawn to dusk, making you reconsider going outdoors. Mosquitoes have been around for millions of years; so unfortunately, folks, they are here to stay.
There are roughly 3,600 species of mosquitoes and over 50 of them can be found right here in sunny California. These insects are part of the gnat family and are known to be the deadliest in the world. They can carry and transmit several bloodborne diseases including malaria, West Nile, yellow fever, and Zika (just to name a few) which kill nearly a million people globally each year. They are also responsible for transmitting heartworms to our canine and feline friends.
Did you know that only female mosquito’s bite? Blood provides a protein that is required to produce eggs. Once they are ready to lay their eggs, they will seek a water source, whether big or small, to lay 100-200 eggs each time. The eggs are resilient and can survive even in cold water throughout the winter season, hatching as warm weather approaches.
We may think these gnats seem quite pointless and annoying, but they do play a significant part in our ecosystem. They are a link in our food chain, providing food to fish, birds, bats, and amphibians. Some species are even important pollinators! “Say what?” I know, we still don’t like them either.
Although public mosquito vectors can monitor and treat areas such as waterways and canals, it is up to residents to proactively eliminate breeding sources around the home. Here are some suggestions on how to decrease the breeding sites around your yard and some control methods you can try to keep them away.
Look for stagnant water: this is especially important to do after a rain shower. Dump any standing water that may accumulate in pots and planters, old tires, tarps, toys, open containers, bird baths, fountains, small pools, ponds, and anything else that can potentially hold water.
Inspect gutters: clogged gutters can increase the chance of stagnant water. Remove any built-up debris and inspect down spout extensions.
Purchase mosquito repellent: such as candles that contain citronella, outdoor bug sprays, or foggers. You can find these items at most retailers; however, in most situations they only provide temporary relief, and some ingredients can be toxic if used incorrectly.
Helpful Tip: most species prefer to stay close to their breeding sites but can travel 1-3 miles to feed. Although you cannot control the condition of your neighbor’s yard, you can use these tips to help reduce these pests around your property. Some pesticide treatments can also help to relieve infestations as well, targeting shady foliage areas where they are likely to rest. Still, the best thing you can do as a resident is to monitor your property for those areas of water that welcome mosquitoes in for a place to call home.
There are many bugs we encounter in our East Sacramento backyards; however, not all bugs are harmful. Although many may seem like pests, there are some benefits to keeping some around while others can wreak havoc on our food, plants, livestock and even our health. When it comes to pest control, it can seem like a country standoff of “good guys vs. bad guys.”
What are the benefits of keeping some bugs around? There is one famous backyard bug that immediately comes to people’s mind… the ladybug. The vibrant ladybug is a predatory bug that feeds on spider mites and aphids. They can eat up to 5,000 pests in their life span! Another great insect to keep around is the camouflaged praying mantis. They will also eat just about anything as well (including its own kind). And what about the creepy crawly millipede? These large creatures are scavengers and will eat decaying leaves and even garden slugs!
Now that you know we have some bugs on our side helping us out, lets discuss the bad bugs lurking in the shadows. These common pests can be found in almost every home at some point or another. These are the “Hateful Eight” of the pests we find in and around our homes throughout the year.
The Black Widow Spider: These can be identified by their hourglass-shaped mark on the abdomen. They often like to stay in dark secluded spaces but are still to be taken seriously because of their venomous bite. Most people bitten do not suffer serious harm; however, it can be fatal to small children and the elderly.
The Cockroach: Fast breeding and fast moving, cockroaches can spread bacteria and other diseases such as salmonella and E. coli. Their molted skins and droppings can also cause allergens and have even been linked to childhood asthma.
The Flea: Fleabites can be itchy and painful. These annoying creatures can trigger allergic reactions and even transmit serious diseases such as tapeworms and typhus.
The Wasp: Unlike bees, wasps do not die after they sting someone. They can sting multiple times, and this can be deadly to anyone who is allergic.
The Mosquito: Causing more deaths to humans than any other insect in the world, their bites have infected people with some of the deadliest diseases such as the West Nile virus, malaria, and yellow fever. They can also cause heartworms in pets.
The Fly: House flies can carry some of the most dangerous germs resulting in the spread of bacillary, cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, and infantile diarrhea.
The Tick: Ticks do not jump or fly, they use other methods to find a host to latch onto. With their impressive sensory organs they can detect carbon dioxide you exhale and can also sense odors, vibrations, and heat. Their bite can be undetectable at times and they are carriers to various fevers and Lyme disease.
If you are encountering these unwanted pests, a pest professional can safely eliminate them from your home. The good guys are in town and they are here for you!
- Call 916-531-1261