Employee Spotlight: Molly Davis


Molly has been working for Mosquito Joe as an office assistant since the summer of 2017 when she was in high school. Since then, she has taken over our social media management and been with us every summer, and on occasion over spring and winter break. Now a senior at TAMU Corpus Christi, Molly will be with us this summer for a short time before she moves into a career in digital marketing, with a focus on the environmental justice field.

What made you want to work at Mosquito Joe of NW Houston & S Brazos?

I grew up watching my mother open and build Mosquito Joe NW Houston from the ground up in our home. My older sister also worked in the “office” (our study) in the early years, where I learned all about our work through many one-sided phone conversations. When the time came to look for my first job, my mother was more than supportive of me taking a position to assist her.

What’s one word to describe your time at Mosquito Joe?

Not the word many might use to describe their work experience, but I think “family” is the first to come to mind. It’s a family business, after all! I work(ed) alongside my brothers, sister, mother, and stepfather over the years, and we worked out of our home office for my first few years as an office assistant. Family has been an integral part of my time at Mosquito Joe.

Do you have a favorite customer story?

Yes, actually! I always love to hear feedback from a happy customer and know that the work we do in the office makes a positive impact on others. It was a phone call with one of our customers, a very kind, older woman. She called the office just to tell us all about how happy she was with our services; we chatted about gardening, hummingbirds, our family business, and just how pleased she was to enjoy time outdoors with loved ones. It’s always nice to be reminded we are making a difference for others.

Fun fact about you?

I’m a college student at TAMU Corpus Christi and an active member of my university’s environmental club and feminist club. A lot of my spare time is spent organizing in my community and hosting events like beach cleans, educational workshops, and environmental justice efforts. I was also a gymnast and a big science fair nerd when I was younger!

Do you have any hobbies?

Other than things previously mentioned, I love attending concerts and supporting local music/artists. I’m lucky enough to attend college on the beach, so I also frequently visit my favorite spots on the Corpus Christi coast. A last hobby would be traveling, something I hope to do much more of when I graduate.

What are some of the most common misconceptions customers have about mosquitoes?

I feel like there are so many. ‘Baby mosquitoes’ is probably the most common phrase I hear which is not accurate (as we all know thanks to the amazing previous blog, ‘The Life-Cycle of a Texas Mosquito”. Customers new to Texas also have a misconception about ‘mosquito season’ and are unpleasantly surprised upon realizing there is no rest for the wicked down here.

What is a typical day at Mosquito Joe like?

Mosquito Joe of NW Houston Office Assistant, Molly!My day in the office usually begins the same, with coffee and emails! When I am in the office full time, I make a social media post every morning and make a handful of quote request calls from the night before. I answer phone calls throughout the day, help manage the technicians in the field, and organize services for the next day (all while keeping very close company for the office dog, of course).

What’s your best piece of advice for someone wanting to control mosquitoes in their yard?

Standing water and a clean yard do wonders! I’ll always tell customers over the phone that just a teaspoon of water can breed up to 300 mosquito eggs at a time, multiple times over. Think outside of the box and check gutters, plant saucers, electrical boxes, etc. Or give us a call at 281-815-0228 and I can make my brothers do all of that and more for you!


Mosquito Eggs – Everything You Need to Know

At Mosquito Joe, we believe that the key to controlling a pest is understanding it. The more we understand their habits, behaviors, and needs, the better we can be at controlling the population and managing them. When it comes to mosquitoes, understanding mosquito eggs is vital. It’s the one thing that no laboratory has managed to kill. So, knowing what an egg needs to survive allows us to reduce the numbers in a yard, and hence the mosquito population as a whole.

mosquito life cycleA mosquito’s life cycle involves 4 stages, beginning with the egg and ending with the emergence of the adult mosquito. The first three stages occur in water so that is the preferred location for eggs to be laid. But a mosquito will lay eggs elsewhere if there is no water available. Where the female lays her eggs is driven by the species.

In general, mosquito eggs fall into 3 groups. The first are eggs that are laid as single units on water. The second are eggs laid in rafts which float on the water’s surface. The third are laid singly outside the water – on the side of rocks or holes or artificial containers. When the water rises in these areas, the eggs contact the water and hatch.

While managing water is the key to preventing the larvae from hatching, it’s not enough to control them. The fact is, if you have a female mosquito in your yard who wants to lay eggs, she will find a place. And if there is no water, then she will find a location where the soil is moist and opt for that. If you water regularly chances are that the soil is damp enough for her to lay eggs there.

If you have a culvert by the street, while it may not hold water when she visits, she will opt for it as a good spot. If you have plant pots, a wheelbarrow, or any number of containers in your yard, even if dry, she will lay eggs there knowing that the rain will come, and the container will fill.

Mosquito eggsSo how long will that egg survive if we don’t get rain? The answer is the key to why mosquitoes are so hard to control. A mosquito egg can lay dormant for up to 15 years. They can be frozen in ice and hatch when the ice melts. You may read that Dawn dish soap can suffocate eggs, but this is not true. No one has worked out how to kill a mosquito egg and we are limited to killing the larvae and pupae (as well as the adults).

The best way to control the mosquitoes in your yard is to limit the water, as well as areas where water can accumulate after rain. As soon as water touches an egg it can hatch, and ONE TEASPOON of water will provide enough for 300 eggs. A good checklist is as follows:

  1. Keep your gutters flowing and free of debris.
  2. Turn all containers upside down and store them out of the elements (plant pots, wheelbarrows, saucers under plant pots, gutter drains, etc.).
  3. Even your yard if you have low spots can accumulate water. Customers with the worst mosquito issues are usually those who have dogs that dig holes in their yard.
  4. Minimize the use of tarps – one tarp can create multiple pockets of standing water.
  5. If you have poor drainage in your yard, fixing it can resolve a lot of issues. Direct water away from your property and be careful not to lay a French drain without a steep angle – poorly designed drains are hidden under the ground, but not from mosquitoes.
  6. Keep your yard tidy and your ground clear of as much leaf and pine needle debris as possible. The more ground cover you have, the wetter the soil beneath.
  7. Bring kids’ toys inside before rains. One small plastic toy can fill with water and breed a lot of mosquitoes. The same goes for plastic kid playhouses.
  8. Refresh your birdbaths often, it is not enough to tip out the water – mosquito eggs can cling to the sides. Scrub the bath before refilling so you are not just refreshing the water for those eggs!
  9. Finally, after a weather event spend a few minutes tipping and tossing the water. An egg cannot hatch without water, so don’t give them that option!

Our mosquito service involves more than laying down products. Our technicians will tip and toss as they treat, so if you want to have us manage these issues just give us a call to find out more at 281-815-0228.


How does temperature affect mosquitoes?


We all know that, as the summer heats up, so do the mosquitoes. But we often get asked why this happens, and why we don’t see as many when the temperatures drop. We thought it would make an interesting blog post to break down the impact of temperatures on mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are incapable of regulating their body temperature as they are cold blooded. This has an impact on when we see them and where, since their body temperature will essentially be the same as the environment, they are in. It’s the reason why we see them in the shade but not the sun – a mosquito venturing out into the Texas sun during the day will get a nasty surprise and not live to talk about it.

Essentially, there are some temperature parameters for the mosquito that we can follow. Temperatures under 50 degrees F force the mosquito into hibernation. Some mosquitoes will die, but others, already lethargic when the temperature drops into the mid 50’s, will shelter under leaves and may live to see the temperatures rise again. In Texas that may only be a few days, as we like to ping pong from cold to hot in the cooler months. Some species of mosquito are much better at dealing with the weather changes, while others will perish once the temperatures reach a low level. Female mosquitoes preparing to lay eggs will often hibernate and lay them when the temperatures warm.

Animal skull outsideOn the other side of the scale, we have heat. Mosquitoes don’t enjoy incredibly high temperatures, but they have evolved over millions of years to develop coping strategies to deal with them. Mosquitoes will come out at night to feed, bite, and mate, and then shelter in the shade during the day waiting for the temperatures to drop down again.

As we continue to see weather changes worldwide, so too do we see changes in mosquito presence. Over the decade between 1980 and 1990, mosquito season in New York City was about 141 days long. In 2006, it was 153 days long. As our temperatures increase, so too do the number of days when mosquitoes coexist with us. In 2021, the increase in storms and rain that summer, along with the warmer than expected temperatures, resulted in a 300 fold increase in mosquitoes in Tammany Parish, LA, while Luzerne County, PA, reported more mosquitoes in 2021 than the combined total from the previous 10 years.

Tornado and thunderstorm outside As is typical in Texas, we had a “practice summer” in April this year, followed by a long, endless deluge of rain in May, which resulted in a rather epic mosquito population as we entered June.

But the real key to the population are the mosquito eggs. We tell everyone who will listen just how amazing mosquito eggs are. You can freeze one in a block of ice and melt it a few years later, and it will hatch. You can shelve a mosquito egg for 10 years, and then apply a drop of water to it and it will hatch.

The fact of the matter is, while mosquitoes are impacted by temperatures, mosquito eggs are not. After a ton of rain, mosquitoes will lay eggs, in groups of 300 at a time, everywhere there is standing water. Those eggs will lie in wait, if the temperatures are too cool, until the right time and then they hatch. Once the temperature hits 50 degrees they are off to the races. Sometimes, the area where they are laid dried up, but that’s ok. They will just wait for some new rain and then hatch.

3 multiplied by 9 equal question mark equation of magnetsWhat is crazy to think about is the rapidity with which a mosquito populates its space. Let’s say a female (Aedes) mosquito flies out of the woods into your yard and finds a hole in a tree trunk with water inside, or a pool deck drain holding water under the ground. She pauses and lays her 300 eggs and moves on. And let’s say that 50% of those 300 eggs become females, which will occur about 4-6 days later. You now have 150 females, who will hatch, immediately breed, find a blood meal, and lay their 300 eggs. Eight to twelve days after the female first arrived, you now 150 females producing 150 females a piece, or 22,500 females. Twelve to eighteen days after the first arrived those 22,500 females produce 150 females a piece, and you have 3.3 million females in your yard. In two weeks! Granted some of the original females will no longer be with you, but at this point we don’t think it would matter.

In summary, it’s more than the temperature that impacts the population – it’s the weather and the rain and the locations in your yard that provide the perfect place for egg laying. The perfect storm is Texas weather. Rarely under 50 degrees, often hot and usually humid with rain.

If you want to know how to control your population check out some of our earlier blog posts that provide some great advice. Or you can just call us, and we can take care of your yard for you with one of our treatment options!


Why Do Mosquitoes Come Out at Night?


The mosquitoes in your yard can seem relatively absent during the day, but most of us have experienced the excessive amount of activity in the evenings, and the resulting bites we greet the next morning. So why are they so active at night, and where do they all go the next day?

Before we answer this question, we must add a caveat. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are the oddity here as they are out during the day as well. If you see larger than normal mosquitoes, with an easy-to-spot black-and-white color, you have Asian Tigers. These mosquitoes are container breeders – their favorite home is an old tire. If you want to reduce the quantity of these mosquitoes have a quick spruce up, flip pots and open containers, and check your woods for discarded trash under leaves.

For the rest of the mosquito breeds we have in this part of Texas, we don’t tend to see them during daylight hours. So why?

A blue sky with the sun shinning. Much of it has to do with their size. Mosquitoes are very small, and they are unable to regulate their body temperature efficiently. Sun exposure in Texas can dehydrate a mosquito and kill it rapidly. Mosquitoes also expend a lot of energy in flight, which makes sense given their size.  As a result, they must feed, and feed a lot.

It’s a common misconception that mosquitoes bite us to feed off our blood. It’s only the female that bites, and she does so only when she needs protein to lay eggs. Every time you get a bite somewhere in the yard a female mosquito is preparing to lay about 300 eggs.

Mosquito resting under a green leaf. Mosquitoes obtain their energy from and eat, plant nectar. During the day they head for the green plants in your yard and shelter on the undersides of leaves – keeping them fed and safe from the sun. At dawn and dusk, when the temperatures drop, mosquitoes can safely leave their hiding spots, and the females set about finding warm-blooded creatures to bite, while the males look for breeding partners.

Beyond the sun, there is also another factor that impacts the number of mosquitoes that will be out, and that is all related to water. Mosquitoes need water to survive, and we are not talking in the sense that they must drink it. Rather, mosquitoes need water to lay eggs – the life cycle of a mosquito is such that they spend the first part of their lives in water as larvae and pupae. The geography of your yard will impact your mosquito population – a creek, uneven ground, stagnant water (in a wheelbarrow, trash can, the hole at the base of the tree, and French drains, are some locations to name a few), and damp ground covered in leaf debris or pine needles all increase the presence of mosquitoes nearby.

Vector graphic of insects attracted to a light bulb. Mosquitoes are also attracted to light. However, they will only be attracted into your yard – they won’t fly towards a bug zapper, or hover around your patio lights like moths do. Keeping your yard tidy, removing standing water and ground cover, and minimizing your bright lights will all go a long way to making your yard less hospitable. Mosquitoes have been around since the dinosaurs for good reason. If you are tired of having your evening ruined by mosquitoes, just give us a call for a free quote for mosquito control services. We will manage the water in your yard, eliminate the mosquitoes living in it, and help you adjust your yard so you can enjoy your outside again. Call us today at 281-815-0228 if you have any questions!


Interesting Facts About Mosquitoes

We thought it would be fun to gather a group of interesting facts about mosquitoes, that you may not know, into one list. There is far more to the mosquito than meets the eye, and each year Mosquito biting.we continue to learn more and observe more about their behavior. So here are 29 facts you may not know:

  • There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world. Only about 200 bites.
  • Texas has the highest number of mosquito species at 85, while West Virginia has the fewest at 26.
  • Male mosquitoes do not bite. It is only the female one that sucks your blood and gets the protein from it. This protein helps the mosquitoes to develop their eggs.
  • Mosquitoes feed mainly on plant nectar.
  • Mosquitoes cannot regulate their body temperature, so they will shade from the sun during the day.
  • A female mosquito can drink 3 times her body weight in blood.
  • Mosquitoes prefer the blood of horses or birds or cattle to humans.
  • Mosquitoes have been around since the Jurassic period. They have been on Earth for over 210 million years!
  • Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet, far more so than sharks.
  • Mosquitoes can spread several life-threatening diseases including West Nile, Dengue, and Malaria.
  • Many mosquitoes don’t die from a freeze. Instead, they hibernate and reawaken once temperatures climb over 50 degrees.
  • A mosquito egg can lay dormant for up to 10 years, and hatch once water touches it.
  • All mosquitoes need water to breed.
  • A mosquito spends the first 7-10 days of its life in water.
  • Mosquitoes live up to 6 months (the majority live 2-3 weeks).
  • When mosquitoes hatch out of the pupae they first breed before the female searches for a blood meal. She then lays her eggs and only then will settle to feed from nectar.
  • The female mosquito lays her eggs in stagnant water, 300 at a time. Only a teaspoon will do.
  • Mosquitoes beat their wings 500-600 times per minute. When mating they will synchronize their wings.
  • Mosquitoes only fly 1.5 miles per hour.
  • Mosquitoes mostly keep to 6-8 feet above ground. They can fly up to 25’ high but they are not strong fliers and cannot manage the breeze well.
  • Mosquitoes generally fly 2-3 miles at best (some saltmarsh mosquitoes can fly 100 miles, however).
  • Mosquitoes use several methods to locate a blood meal. They first detect CO2 plumes, which they can do from 75’ away.
  • Once a mosquito gets closer it turns to smell to home in on a victim. Sweat, beer, and a host of other odors can make us more attractive.
  • Movement also attracts mosquitoes.
  • When they are close mosquitoes turn to heat sensing to find us to bite.
  • Mosquito traps don’t work well as they do not emit heat. They attract mosquitoes into your yard but, if you are outside, they will find you first.
  • Bug zappers don’t kill mosquitoes. The light attracts them in, but they won’t fly into it. The same is true for outside lights you turn on at night.
  • When the female bites she inserts her proboscis into our skin. Her saliva helps the multiple tubes inside this to slide through our skin. It also has a mild pain-killing property, to help her go undetected, and has anti-coagulant properties.
  • The bumps and itch that result from a bite are the result of a common allergy to saliva. Some lucky people don’t have a reaction.

We make outside fun again by keeping mosquitoes and other outdoor pests away! Give us a call today at 281-815-0228 for a free quote!