How to get rid of mosquitoes
A perfect Summer evening, entertaining outside with guests….. ruined by the high pitched whining in your ear of mosquitoes looking for a meal! Mosquitoes are annoying, their bites are itchy and they can transmit serious diseases. The need to control mosquitoes inside and outside the home is important so you can enjoy life and keep healthy. Controlling mosquitoes requires combining mosquito prevention tips with suitable mosquito control products.
MOSQUITO LARVAE OR "WRIGGLERS"
WHAT DO MOSQUITOES LOOK LIKE?
- Eggs: Eggs are laid in water singly or in “rafts” containing multiple eggs. The exact location will vary by species, but typically they are laid in stagnant or slow moving water.
- Larvae: The larvae or “wrigglers” can often be seen in pools of water. They rest upside down with the “tail-end” of their body pointing through the water surface to breathe. They dive or wriggle away from the surface when disturbed.
- Adults: Everyone could probably identify a mosquito, they are insects, part of the fly family. Their size depends on the species but they rarely exceed 1.5cm in length. Their mouthparts have been adopted to allow them to pierce skin and suck up blood.
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
Signs of mosquito infestation are fairly obvious – lots of mosquitoes and lots of bites! However, if you want to get an early indication a problem may be brewing, keep an eye on any pools or water around your property. If you can see lots of “wrigglers” you know will be about get an invasion of adult mosquitoes.
MAIN PEST SEASON
In most parts of New Zealand the main mosquito season is during the warmer months, with invasion more likely a couple of weeks after heavy rain. In the tropical areas, mosquitoes can be a year round issue, although numbers are certainly higher in the warmer, wet season.
- Mosquitoes are found throughout New Zealand, although different species will dominate in different parts of New Zealand. Numbers are considerably higher around the warmer, wetter coastal areas.
- There are 16 species of mosquito in New Zealand, 4 of which are introduced species. Of these introduced species, only 3 have the potential to transmit disease, but there have been no cases of disease caused by mosquito bites in New Zealand.
- Adult mosquitoes eat nectar and other plant juices. Only the female mosquito bites, requiring a blood meal before laying eggs.
- Mosquitoes are not only a problem at dusk and during the night, some species bite during the day
- The high pitched sound you can hear when mosquitoes are near your head, is from the rapid beating of their wings
- Mosquitoes are known to carry a lot of serious (sometimes) fatal diseases, so care needs to be taken when travelling overseas. Even in Australia they have Ross River fever and Barmah Forest disease, Dengue Fever (in Northern Queensland) and Murray Valley encephalitis.
MOSQUITO PREVENTION TIPS
- The key action to minimise mosquito numbers on your property is to remove potential mosquito breeding sites. Eliminating all sources of standing water will remove egg laying sites. These include ponds, plant pots, drains and blocked gutters.
- Stopping mosquitoes coming inside is best achieved using mosquito screens
- When outside wearing loose, long-sleevd tops and long trousers with socks will significantly reduce the chance of mosquito bites.
For more details on preventing a mosquito outbreak check out our blog article on mosquito prevention tips for homeowners
MOSQUITO CONTROL TIPS
- To control the occasion mosquito inside the house, use a flying insect aerosol to spray towards the insect. Spraying the aerosol into the air will create a cloud of insecticide which the mosquito will fly through.
- If you experience a large number of mosquitoes indoors (especially if you do not have insect screens), spray insecticide onto surfaces where mosquitoes rest during the day. Typical resting places are dark, sheltered places such as behind cupboards and drawers, under furniture and behind pictures.
- Reducing adult numbers outdoors can be achieved by spraying surfaces where mosquitoes may rest, these include under eaves, decking roofs, decking flooring, under plant leaves and general sprays on the exterior walls of homes near entertaining areas.
For the ultimate guide to controlling mosquitoes check out our 5-Step Mosquito control guide for homeowners
PESTXPERT MOSQUITO PRODUCTS MOSQUITO SPRAYS AND MOSQUITO KILLERS
- PestXpert Pro-Spray Flying aerosol is the idea product for direct spraying at mosquitoes. With its fine droplet size for good “hang time” and dual active formulation, it provides fast control – a great mosquito spray.
- To target indoor resting areas use Pro-Spray flying aerosol.
- PestXpert Pro-Spray Outdoor Perimeter is the ideal product for treating the mosquito resting places outdoors. With its 1 m spray wand you can safely target application areas and the formulation is suitable for application to plants (not for use on plants that are to be eaten). Such products are no designed to kill the mosquitoes in the air, but are ideal long lasting mosquito killers when applied to surfaces