If you have ever been outdoors during a Florida summer, you probably know the feeling of being bitten by a mosquito. The bite itself may go unnoticed at first, but soon it becomes a red, itchy bump that can drive you crazy. But why do mosquitoes bite us in the first place?
Mosquitoes are not the only insects that feed on blood; others include fleas, ticks, lice, and bed bugs. However, they are unique in that they only feed on blood as adults, and only the females do so. Female mosquitoes need blood to produce eggs, as blood is rich in protein and iron, essential for egg development. Male mosquitoes feed on nectar and other plant juices instead of blood. Females can also feed on nectar and other sources of sugar for energy, but they need at least one blood meal before they can lay eggs.
Mosquitoes are not only annoying, but they can also transmit diseases to humans and animals. Some of the most common diseases they carry is malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Zika virus, West Nile virus, and chikungunya. These diseases can cause serious symptoms such as fever, headache, joint pain, rash, nausea, vomiting, and even death in some cases. The best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes in the first place.
There are several ways to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Consider the following tips below before you go outside to help prevent mosquitoes:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors
- Applying insect repellent that contains DEET or other effective ingredients
- Using mosquito nets or screens on windows and doors
- Avoiding areas with stagnant water or high vegetation where mosquitoes breed
- Eliminating or treating any potential breeding sites around your home
If you find yourself fighting off mosquitoes around your yard constantly this summer, reach out to your local pest control company to alleviate your frustrations and create a personalized mosquito reduction plan for your home.