What Temperatures Kill Mosquitoes?

After the Snowpocalypse of 2021, a lot of our customers were surprised to find that it had little impact on the mosquito population. We pointed out to them that Alaska has a horrible mosquito issue, and they don’t exactly have a warm winter. The fact is that, while some mosquitoes will die, the majority will simply slow down and become lethargic, seek shelter and then hibernate. Once the temperatures hit 55 degrees hibernation is over, mosquito eggs begin to hatch, and life begins anew.

runner-drinkingBut this does beg the question, particularly while we are in the midst of a Texas summer, what impact does the heat have on mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are cold-blooded. This means that they are unable to regulate their body temperature and are impacted by the temperatures around them. Their ideal temperature is 80 degrees, and they will shelter from the sun during the day, appearing in high numbers at dawn and dusk when it is cooler. Some species, such as the Asian Tiger mosquito, will be out during the day, but for the most part, they want shade and cool. Prolonged exposure to the sun will cause dehydration and they obviously want to avoid that.

It is possible to reach a temperature where mosquitoes do dehydrate and die, but sadly not here in the Houston area. What saves the mosquito frompalm tree being impacted by our high temperatures is our humidity. Unlike the dry dessert, where mosquitoes fail to thrive, here the combination of summer storms and high humidity means that mosquitoes are not affected by the temperatures. In fact, our weather provides an excellent environment for them. We have some species of mosquitoes that only become active in the fall and cooler months, so sadly not only does our weather encourage mosquito breeding, but we never have a time of year without them (except our week of the Snowpocalypse!)

Luckily, Mosquito Joe is ready to make outside fun again with our outdoor pest control services! Fill out a form or give us a call for a free quote today!

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Why Do Mosquitoes Need Blood?

One of the questions we hear a lot is, “why do mosquitoes need blood anyway?” When you really sit down and think about it, this is a really good question. We thought we would tackle it here and provide some answers.

Male mosquitoes are vegetarians/vegans and only feed on plant nectar. That’s why they spend most of their time, when the sun is out, under leaves: shading and feeding. Female mosquitoes also feed off plant nectar (and shade from the sun), but when they are preparing to lay eggs, they need more nutrients. For example, iron is required for optimal egg development and viable offspring and protein are required to build strong eggs.

mosquitosSome studies have been conducted to try and determine what attracts a female mosquito to one person over another. We often hear customers who complain that they always get bitten while their spouse does not. Studies have shown that O type blood is the preference for a female. They also tend to opt for folks who are sweating or have a higher body temperature from heat or exercise, or in the case of mowing the lawn, both. This is most likely due to the fact that the higher the temperature the easier you are to see for a mosquito as they see your heat. The more you are working out the more CO2 you are expelling, again, making it easier for them to smell you through their olfactory sensors that seek out CO2. This is why pregnant women are more apt to get bitten (they expel more CO2).

When a female mosquito bites she uses her proboscis that is composed of six needle-like parts. You can check out an awesome video of this process here to see how they do this. They gently perforate the skin with one of the 6 sharp needlelike parts of the proboscis. They inject saliva into our bloodstream to stop our blood from coagulating, the result of that is also what causes the itchy raised welt that we all know and hate. They then suck up the blood through a straw-type section of the proboscis.worlds deadliest animals graph

Mosquitoes spread diseases like West Nile, EEE, and Malaria through these mouthparts which is what makes them the most dangerous.

So, it’s a simple answer for a very complex process that has enabled mosquitoes to survive, multiply and maintain their reputation as the worlds’ deadliest animal.

Control the mosquito population in your yard with one of our mosquito control options – give us a call or fill out the form to the right for a free quote.

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How Mosquito Misting Systems Work

Mosquito Misting Systems have been in use since the 1990s when Fly Control Systems were used to protect valuable racehorses and were modified for home use. Since then, tens of thousands of systems have been installed in properties of homeowners across the US.

mist nozzle

 

How Misting Systems Work

A network of specially designed nozzles is positioned around the area of a property that needs to be protected from mosquitoes. Nozzles are also positioned around the landscaping and eaves of thehome map home. These nozzles can be attached to eaves, fences, and other permanent structures. They can also stand alone on risers in the middle of landscaping where there is no structure. Each nozzle can control mosquitoes in an 8-10 foot radius.

These nozzles are fed by small tubing that is attached to a control unit. This control unit has timers, a pump and generally a reservoir of mixed pesticide. However, some units can mix the pesticides automatically. These units do need to be connected to a tap water source.

The pesticides used in mosquito misting systems are pyrethrins (natural) or pyrethroids (synthetic). Botanical oils can also be used to prevent mosquitoes if you prefer a more natural option.

These systems will automatically activate 1-4 times a day and can also be activated with a remote if needed by the owner. They generally mist from 30-60 seconds with each activation. This mist will kill active mosquitoes in the area and also kill mosquitoes that come into the area and lands on the residual mist left on landscaping.

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Misting System

  • Misting systems should always be installed, filled, and maintained by a certified pest control professional. This ensures that all legal, ecological, and safety concerns are met.mosquito joe misting system
  • Not every property is appropriate for a misting system. Some properties are subject to winds that can make the systems ineffective. Some properties may not have enough landscaping to allow for effective residual killing time.
  • All misting systems should be part of an Integrated Pest Management system which includes treating or eliminating standing water that mosquitoes use for laying eggs.
  • Misting nozzles should be kept under 10’ from the ground as the winds can cause the mist to drift out of the treatment zone.
  • Care must be used when misting around lakes and ponds. Misting systems around these areas should only use products that won’t harm aquatic life.
  • Misting system should not be activated when people, pets or food is in the treatment zone.
  • Misting system will require maintenance and filling periodically. The maintenance includes repairing or replacing blocked nozzles, repairing system leaks, cleaning or replacing filters, and winterization.
  • Misting systems generally cost between $2500 – $5000 depending on the size and number of nozzles used.
  • The larger the system the more often it will need to be filled.

Alternatives to Misting Systems

Misting systems aren’t for every property. Often properties may be better suited for Mosquito Barrier Treatments. These are applications of Mosquito Control agents by pest control technicians that protect properties from mosquitoes for 3 weeks.

Whenever deciding on mosquito control for your property it is best to rely on the expertise of a certified pest control technician to help you decide on the best alternatives for your specific property. Mosquito Joe can help you with that decision. Mosquito Joe can also repair and maintain systems that are currently installed, even by other companies. Contact Mosquito Joe for a free estimate at 281-815-0228 or 979-859-5998 or email us at nwhoustonbrazos@mosquitojoe.com.

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Want a Swat-Free Summer?

As reported by a study from the Office of the Texas State Climatologist at Texas A&M University, “Texans should expect warmer weather, more wildfires, and urban flooding, and increased impact from hurricanes through 2036.” This warmer, wetter weather is sure to bring us many problems, one of which is a dramatic increase in mosquitoes. Our fellow Texans can relate to the annual mosquito season battles in the summertime, and the idea of these issues becoming any worse is enough to make someone hysterical. However, using our services here at Mosquito Joe we can eliminate these issues for you before summer even arrives, with no contracts!

We offer a range of service options here at Mosquito Joe to treat these populations – the most popular being our barrier treatment. The barrier service covers your entire yard (or the backyard only if that is your preference) out to a foliage barrier/fence and is done on a three-week cycle.

boy pouring bucket of waterTo control mosquito populations before they arrive, our technicians spend time during this service walking your property to treat and eliminate any standing water on your land. This water can be held on the property itself in your gutters, objects in the yard, or holding in drains. Water is where mosquitoes breed by the millions, within a month- one teaspoon of water can hold up to 300 mosquito eggs. Finding the sources of mosquito issues (potential or current) is imperative to controlling the population. The second part of our barrier service involves treating the foliage on the property – trees, bushes, flowerbeds, or any leafy, cool places that a mosquito might hide. While mosquito populations thrive in warm, wet weather, they tend to spend more time in shady areas and are very bad flyers – requiring foliage to rest on in order to make it across the yard. For this reason, we treat the foliage (top AND bottom of the leaves) with our synthetic product, eliminating mosquitoes as they hide or make their way towards you. Our technicians treat any flowering plants, vegetable gardens, or fruit trees with our organic garlic product. Unlike our synthetic product, the all-natural garlic works by driving mosquitoes away due to their sensitive sense of smell. The products we use are similar to nail polish in the way they work – the products take about thirty minutes to dry down on the foliage in the yard, and during this time we like to have all people and dogs inside. After the thirty minutes are up, everyone is free to be outside, turn on sprinklers, get in the pool, etc! The products won’t wash away and instead, they break down over the 3 weeks.

Fighting the mosquito population in someone’s yard is an uphill battle since mosquitoes are able tomosquito on the human skin breed so quickly. In our first service, we set the expectation of a 75% reduction in mosquitoes, 85% after a second service, getting you at our ultimate goal of a 95% reduction in your mosquito population after your third service! The products we use have an outdoor life of three weeks and tend to break down in the heat and sunlight, so Mosquito Joe comes out to treat every three weeks to maintain the barrier in your yard. We can guarantee our service for our customers who stick with our service every three weeks and we work with no contracts, so you can choose to pause/end service when you would like! Our customers are never tied into service with us. Mosquito Joe also offers two entirely all-natural options for customers that are interested and these last two and three weeks depending on which you choose. We also install and maintain misting systems, which you can read more about in our past blog! If you have issues with other pests: chiggers, ants, fleas, and ticks – you can also call Mosquito Joe for a hand with these issues as well!

outside family dinnerAs most Texans can attest, summertime is no fun when you can’t even enjoy being outdoors. Mosquitoes may have ruined the fun for you and your family in the past, but this summer we encourage you to take the time to protect your yard from these mosquitoes before summer begins! While mosquitoes do not have a ‘hibernation’ season in Texas due to consistently warm weather, mosquitoes tend to make their big leap in March and April, or May (if you’re lucky!). Get a free quote with us here at Mosquito Joe and start your service before then and make your outside fun again!

 

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It’s Time for Our Annual Pre-Pay Offer

mosquito joe van next to houseEvery February we get very busy here at Mosquito Joe. We are preparing for the coming season of mosquitoes and to kick it off we always offer our pre-pay special to all our customers, new and old. It’s a pretty simple concept that allows everyone to save money, and to sit back and relax while we take care of their yards for as long as they choose. The customers we have treated all year particularly like to take advantage of the program and are always welcome to start another when they finish, even if it’s mid-fall or January.

The concept is a simple one. A full year of services, performed once every 3 weeks, is 17. The pre-pay offer comes in two tiers. Tier one is a 10% savings. Customers who pick between 10 to 12 services can pre-pay for those and save 10%. Tier two is a 15% savings. Customers can pick anywhere from 13 to 17 services (a full year) and pre-pay those and save.

mosquito joe 15 percent per-pay special

Mosquito Joe will manage the pre-pay account and monitor progress throughout the year. Let’s say a customer, we will call Bill, wants to do the pre-pay. Bill opts for the 13 services at a 15% discount. Bill pre-pays for those and then sits back and enjoys his yard. Every 3 weeks we go out to treat for Bill and draw from his pre-pay to cover the cost of the service. When Bill has 2 services left, Mosquito Joe sends him an email letting him know. When Bill uses his last pre-paid service or is just about to, we give Bill a call and discuss his options. Bill can opt to continue his service and pay as he goes.  He can opt to hold his account until the following spring, or he can choose to do another pre-pay and continue to be treated. Let’s say Bill opts to do another pre-pay, but then in January he has to take an extended trip and won’t be home for some time. He can just give us a call and we will hold his account until he gets back into town. When he is ready to start again his pre-pay will be waiting for him.

If you are looking for a service and want a simple way to save money, this is for you!  Don’t ever hesitate to ask us about our pre-pay offer. While we reach out to our customers this month about pre-pay, we offer the pre-pay option all year and will always be happy to run some numbers for you so you can pick the option you like best. Just give us a call and we will help you from there. Happy Spring!!!

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