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How To Protect Yourself From Hot Springs Mosquitoes

August 13, 2021 - Mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes are members of the fly family. They have long slender bodies that are generally dark in color. They have six legs and identical pairs of wings. The proboscis, or snout, is elongated. Males use it to eat nectar and pollen. Females eat nectar and pollen, but they require a meal of blood to develop their eggs.

Dangers Of The Mosquito

When the mosquito bites you, she injects saliva that has an anti-coagulant and an anti-inflammatory effect. This keeps the blood from clotting faster than she can draw it out and keeps the swelling from the bite from forcing her proboscis out of the hole. Unfortunately, she also injects any diseases or parasites she is carrying.

Mosquitoes are considered by many to be the most dangerous animals in the world because of the diseases and parasites they spread. Currently, mosquitoes are known to spread the Zika virus, malaria, West Nile virus, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, encephalitis, tularemia, dog heartworms, and more. Not all of these illnesses are found in the United States, but they can be brought back by travelers from other countries.

Lifecycle Of The Mosquito 

It is important to understand the lifecycle of the mosquito to understand how to protect yourself from them. After a blood meal, the female mosquito lays her eggs on still water or in a place that floods with the rains. The eggs that are laid on still water are laid in a raft, while the flood ones are laid as a single egg per spot. The flood egg will stay viable for two years before the water comes and the egg hatches.

The still water eggs will hatch in about 24-48 hours. The larvae are called wrigglers because they wiggle in the water. Wrigglers breathe through a snorkel while in the water. In 7-10 days after the eggs hatch, the wrigglers pupate and are called tumblers. This is because if the surface of the water is disturbed, they tumble through it. Adult mosquitoes hatch from the back of the tumblers and fly away.

Factors That Attract Mosquitoes

Water attracts mosquitoes. Adult mosquitoes are drawn to cool spots to loaf until they go out. This may be spots between shrubs and the wall of the house, tall grass, or other shady places that are reasonably cool. Some mosquitoes fly at night and some during the day, but nearly all of them will be out at dawn and dusk.

Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes

The best way you can protect yourself from mosquitoes is to eliminate standing water in your yard.

  • Dump out tires, buckets, and other things that hold water.
  • Make sure there are no standing puddles in low spots in your yard.
  • Empty and clean dog bowls, horse troughs, and birdbaths at least once every five days.
  • Properly maintained pools are not a problem, but ones that are not maintained are.
  • Cut shrubs back from the house to eliminate the cool spot mosquitoes like to loaf in.
  • Cut grass and weeds regularly.
  • Make sure gutters are cleaned out and draining properly.
  • Wear light-colored clothing when outdoors.
  • Stay inside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are thick.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants with close-toed shoes.
  • Apply DEET to your clothing to repel mosquitoes.