Mosquitoes can be an annoying, serious problem. They interfere with daily work and ruin leisure time either on the farm, in the park or simply in the backyard. Read below to learn more about the basic life cycle of a mosquito and how A1 Mist Sprayers can provide you the perfect solution in keeping these unwanted pests at bay.
Life Cycle of A Mosquito
The mosquito goes through four separate and distinct stages of its life cycle. Each of these stages can be easily recognized by its special appearance. How long each stage lasts depends on both temperature and species characteristics. For instance, Culex Tarsalis might go through its life cycle in 14 days at 75 degrees and take only 10 days at 80 degrees. Other mosquito species have naturally adapted their entire life cycle in as little as four days or as long as a month.
Eggs are laid one at a time or attached together to form “rafts”. They float on the surface of the water. In the case of Culex and Culiseta species, the eggs are stuck together in rafts of up to 200. Anopheles, Ochlerotatus, Aedes and many other genera do not make egg rafts, but lay their eggs singly. Culex, Culista and Anopheles lay their eggs on the water surface, while Aedes and Ochlerotatus lay their eggs on damp soil that will be flooded by water. Most eggs hatch into larvae within 48 hours. Others might withstand subzero winters before hatching. Water is a necessary part of any species egg habitat.
The larvae lives in the water and comes to the surface to breathe. Larvae shed (molt) their skin four times, growing larger after each molt. Most larvae have siphon tubes for breathing and hang upside down from the water surface. Anopheles larvae do not have a siphon and lie parallel to the water surface to get a supply of oxygen through a breathing opening. Coquillettidia and Mansonia larvae attach to plants to obtain their air supply. Larvae feed on microorganism and organic matter in the water. During the fourth molt, the larvae changes into a pupa.
The pupal stage is a resting, non-feeding stage of development, but pupae are mobile, responding to light changes and moving (tumble) with a flip of their tails towards the bottom of protective areas. This is the time the mosquito changes into an adult. This process is similar to the metamorphosis seen in butterflies, when the butterfly develops in the cocoon stage, from a caterpillar to an adult butterfly. In Culex species in the southern United States, this takes about 2 days in the summer. When development is complete, the pupal skin splits and the adult mosquito (imago) emerges.
The newly emerged adult rests on the surface of the water for a short time to allow itself to dry and all body parts to harden. The wings have to spread out and dry properly before it can fly. Flood feeding and mating does not occur for a couple of days after the adults emerge. These fully grown mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation. Adult mosquitoes require a blood meal, whether it be from humans, cold or warm-blooded animals or birds. When adult mosquitoes bite, they are receiving a stimuli that includes a combination of carbon dioxide, temperature, moisture, smell, color and movement. Interestingly enough, male adult mosquitoes don’t bite, but feed on the nectar of flowers or a suitable sugar source. Acquiring a blood meal (protein) is essential for female mosquitoes.
Adult mosquitoes require a blood meal, whether it be from humans, cold or warm-blooded animals or birds. When adult mosquitoes bite, they are receiving a stimuli that includes a combination of carbon dioxide, temperature, moisture, smell, color and movement.
Male Mosquitoes: Interestingly enough, male adult mosquitoes don’t bite, but feed on the nectar of flowers or a suitable sugar source.
Female Mosquitoes: Acquiring a blood meal (protein) is essential for egg production. Human blood meals are seldom first or second choices. Horses, cattle, smaller mammals and/or birds are preferred choices. Female Toxorhynchites actually can’t obtain a blood meal and are restricted to a nectar diet.
Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation. We can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes can find shelter by cutting down weeds and grass. To further reduce adult mosquitoes harboring in vegetation, insecticides may be applied to the lower limbs of shade trees, shrubs and other vegetation. Paying particular attention to shaded areas, apply the insecticides as coarse sprays onto vegetation, walls and other potential mosquito resting areas. Stagnant bodies of water are breeding havens for mosquitoes. Larvicides are applied directly into the water to control large mosquito population outbreaks.
Besides being absolute pests, mosquitoes can attack animals on the farm, which can result in loss of weight and decrease in production. Besides these factors, mosquitoes are capable of transmitting a wide range of diseases to animals and people. Some of the more common diseases include:
- Yellow Fever
- Louis Encephalitis (SLE)
- Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)
- LaCrosse Encephalitis (LAC)
- Japanese Encephalitis (JE)
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
- West Nile Virus (WNV)
- Zika Virus
Mist sprayers use a horizontal fan to create an air volume that blows across liquid spray droplets, breaking them up in a swirling air vortex that deposits them onto the treatment area. An A1 Mist Sprayer, in particular, provides more control and coverage of the application than what a normal spot or broadcast sprayer would provide. Here are a few spraying applications that are perfect for homesteads, campgrounds, livestock, feedlots, shelter areas, resorts, golf courses, public schools, parks, hunting lodges and much more.
Uniform spraying between 80—100 microns that eliminates larvae and prevents mosquitoes growing from the next stage.
ULV (Ultra Low Volume) Spraying
Use an aerosol fog that is under 30 microns, which eliminates adult mosquitoes on the spot. This type of misting is best suited to cover residential areas with adulticiding chemicals. ULV spraying does not have any residual effects, making it the safest and cost efficient method.
Uniform spraying between 100-600 microns that puts a barrier between the mosquitoes and the application area. This type of misting application is ideal for residential areas with adulticiding chemicals. All A1 Mist Sprayers are capable of this mosquito control spraying.
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