Table of Contents
- 1 WHAT ARE MOSQUITOES?
- 2 WHAT DO MOSQUITOES LOOK LIKE?
- 3 WHY DO I HAVE MOSQUITOES IN MY HOUSE?
- 4 HOW DO I GET RID OF MOSQUITOES IN MY HOUSE?
- 5 GET RID OF MOSQUITOES WITH JOSHUA’S PEST CONTROL
- 6 SOURCES
- 7 Author Bio
Mosquitoes are small biting insects that are considered pests throughout the world. They can deliver an irritating bite that itches for days, and they have the potential to spread diseases that can be life-threatening in some cases. Learn how to get rid of mosquitoes in your house so you can rest easy without these annoying (and sometimes dangerous) pests.
WHAT ARE MOSQUITOES?
Mosquitoes are small, flying insects found all around the world. There are a shocking number of species—well over 3,500—and they all come from the family Culicidae. Culicidae is the Latin word for “gnat.”
Mosquitoes have long, slender legs; a hunched appearance; and a long proboscis (an elongated tubular mouthpart for sucking fluids). They’re small in size, usually no larger than a dime. Mosquitoes vary in color from species to species, but almost everyone recognizes the pestering buzzing sound they make when they fly close to your ears.
While people think of mosquitoes as bloodsucking insects, the reality is that not all mosquitoes drink blood. In order to mature their eggs, females take a blood meal. Females lay around 500 eggs in their lifetime, and they may take successive blood meals around every two weeks. Males drink nectar and fruit juices.
While not all mosquitoes drink human blood and some prefer other host species, if you’re seeing mosquitoes around you, there is a risk of getting bitten. If bitten, there is a risk of ending up with a mosquito-borne illness.
The most common illnesses that mosquitoes spread around the world include:
- Zika virus
- St. Louis encephalitis
- Chikungunya virus
- Yellow fever
- Jamestown Canyon virus
- La Crosse encephalitis
- West Nile virus
It’s important to take precautions and consider pest control treatments to minimize the mosquito population.
MOSQUITOES IN THE UNITED STATES
There are over 200 types of mosquitoes found in the United States. Fortunately, only a few mosquito species spread diseases. They include common types such as:
- Yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti)
- Common house mosquito (Culex spp.)
- Western encephalitis mosquito (Culex tarsalis)
- Common malaria mosquito (Anopheles quadrimaculatus)
- Western malaria mosquito (Anopheles freeborni)
- Southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)
Not all mosquito-borne illnesses are common in the United States. West Nile virus is one of the most common illnesses within the continental U.S., and cases of Zika virus, chikungunya, and dengue have occurred in places like Florida, Texas, and other states. Cases of these illnesses have also cropped up in areas such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa.
Other illnesses, like yellow fever, aren’t normally found in the U.S. and are more likely to be brought into the country by travelers who were infected in other places.
Malaria in the United States: Did you know that while most people in the U.S. don’t consider malaria to be a disease present within the country, the Anopheles mosquitoes can spread it? As a result of mosquito-borne malaria, around 150 cases have occurred in the last 50 years. Additionally, around 2,000 cases of malaria happen annually (with most cases tied to traveling internationally).
WHAT DO MOSQUITOES LOOK LIKE?
Most mosquitoes are grey or brown with white stripes on their legs or bodies.
The majority of mosquitoes range between ¼-½ of an inch in length. They have two long wings and six long legs that make them appear to “hunch” up when standing still. A long proboscis, used to suck and ingest fluids, extends from the head.
There are some differences between species, though. For example, some do not have stripes, and others have spots. Some are white-banded, while others are mostly brown.
Here’s how to tell common mosquitoes in the United States apart:
YELLOW FEVER MOSQUITO
The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) appears spotted with white and black stripes down the legs. When the wings are folded down, the body may appear to be a solid brown or black color, but the torso is spotted and striped in white when the wings are raised.
COMMON HOUSE MOSQUITO
The common house mosquito (Culex spp.) is normally brown with little to no banding.
WESTERN ENCEPHALITIS MOSQUITO
COMMON MALARIA MOSQUITO
Common malaria mosquitoes (Anopheles quadrimaculatus) are normally darkly colored. They may look black and have scales. Their wings have four dark spots.
WESTERN MALARIA MOSQUITO
The western malaria mosquito (Anopheles freeborni) can be brown or black. It may have some stripes on the thorax, which are usually gray-brown. The rest of the thorax is a yellowish-brown color.
SOUTHERN HOUSE MOSQUITO
Adult southern house mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus) are between 3.96 and 4.25 mm in length. The wings, thorax, tarsi, and proboscis are darker than the body. These mosquitoes have banding in half-moon shapes.
Not sure what mosquito is invading your home? No problem. The experts at Joshua’s Pest Control can help. Call today for a free quote.
WHY DO I HAVE MOSQUITOES IN MY HOUSE?
Mosquitoes favor dark, humid environments, so common places they’ll go indoors are around showers, under sinks, in damp laundry rooms, under furniture, near pooling by AC systems, around entry points like windows and doors, or in dark closets.
Doors left ajar and open windows without screens in place can easily attract mosquitoes indoors as they seek heat and light.
The change of seasons can also play in role in the likelihood of mosquitoes coming indoors. If you’re heading into fall or winter when temperatures are dropping near or below freezing, mosquitoes may start looking for warmer places to call home.
Keep in mind that mosquitoes look for standing water because all mosquito larvae and pupae live and mature in water after hatching. Some species lay their eggs directly in the water, while others will lay their eggs in moist soil or containers that may fill up when it rains. Once inside your home, these pests will try to find any kind of standing water they can, making indoor planters, laundry rooms, or even a spare bathroom a possible location for mosquitoes to harbor their young.
HOW DO I GET RID OF MOSQUITOES IN MY HOUSE?
For the one-off mosquito that has flown indoors, the easiest way to get rid of it is with a fly swatter or paper towel. These insects, while annoying, are not particularly strong fliers and can be easily caught. Since they’re not armored like beetles, they’re prone to crushing injuries. You may have to be quick to swat the mosquito, but once you do, that may be the end of your pest issue for the time being.
If you start to see more mosquitoes in your house, it’s time to look into the cause. Check common places where mosquitoes can be found, like under sinks or in a damp basement, to see if there is a particular area where they’re gathering or seem to be coming from. They’re attracted to areas with standing water, so if you do find spills or leaks, wipe up the water quickly. The entire life cycle of a mosquito takes only 8-10 days, so acting quickly is essential to avoid having a new generation of mosquitoes taking up residence inside your home.
A few steps you can take to control mosquitoes if you find an infestation in your home:
- Empty and scrub any receptacles that hold standing water. Check indoor flowerpots (as well as ones directly outside your windows and doors), window boxes, vases, and dishes. Mosquitoes can lay eggs and hatch larvae in these places, so you’ll want to thoroughly clean them or throw them away. Check weekly.
- Swat and remove any indoor mosquitoes whenever you see them. A fly swatter is generally quick enough (and heavy enough) to get rid of mosquitoes on contact.
- Add a mosquito zapper in your yard, but make sure to position it away from doors and windows. Mosquitoes will be attracted to the light and be drawn away from entrances to your home.
- Enlist the help of a pest control professional. Give our team at Joshua’s Pest Control a call to work together in treating your home and the surrounding outdoor environment.
If you’re facing mosquitoes indoors, don’t forget to look outdoors as well. Look for tarps, flowerpots, and children’s toys that may be collecting water. For properties that have nearby bodies of water, such as a creek, pond, or marsh, professional pest control assistance is key to developing a year-round solution.
GET RID OF MOSQUITOES WITH JOSHUA’S PEST CONTROL
At Joshua’s Pest Control, we’re here to help our neighbors have a more comfortable home and avoid itchy bites from pests that don’t belong. If you’ve noticed mosquitoes ticking up in numbers outside or inside your house, we’re happy to help. We’ll go over our pet- and family-friendly pest control options, so you can get back to feeling relaxed in your home.
Courtney Enzor has worked in the pest control industry for about a decade. From helping you build a fly trap to giving you the best tips for identifying various bugs, she loves answering all your pest-related questions and sharing her pest-related expertise through writing. At the end of the day, she hopes her content will help people avoid mishaps and keep families happy and healthy!