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Mosquito Facts, Identification, and Control in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut

Scientific Order: Diptera (All true flies)

Family: Culicidae

Common Species:

  • The Common Houseto or Northern House Mosquito (Culex pipiens)

  • The Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)

Appearance

  • Size: Usually no larger than ⅛ of an inch

  • Color: Most varieties of mosquito are blackish-brown in coloring

Control

Signs of Infestation

Obviously, the most obvious sign of mosquito infestation are mosquito bites. If you find mosquito bites on your body regularly, even if you haven't spend an extended period of time outside, then mosquitoes are probably living in your building.

Mosquitoes make a low buzzing noise when they fly. In large enough numbers, this buzzing noise can be quite noticeable. Mosquitoes also tend to congregate around food or especially sources of standing water. 

Treatment and Prevention

Mosquitoes live and (more importantly) reproduce in sources of standing water. Reducing sources of stagnant water around your building is the most important way to prevent mosquito infestations. Find and fix leaks, puddles, run-off, drafts, condensation, and excess humidity.

You should also look for places where water could naturally accumulate around your building's interior and exterior. Try to prevent water from collecting anywhere as much as possible to reduce mosquito breeding sites on your property.

Identification

Behavior and Diet

Contrary to popular belief, only female mosquitoes actually drink blood. They require the protein and amino acids in blood to produce eggs. Mosquitoes find blood by sensing the carbon dioxide exuded by the human body using a special chemosensory system.

Mosquitoes mate and lay eggs in standing water. They're also attracted to warmth and sugar. Consequently, mosquitoes tend to flock to food, sugary beverages, and hot, humid areas. 

Reproduction

A single female mosquito can lay between 100 and 300 eggs at a time and could lay thousands of eggs in her lifetime. Mosquito eggs hatch 24 to 48 hours after they're laid. Mosquitoes have a four-stage life cycle.

Mosquito development rate depends largely on environmental temperature. In warm environments they develop extremely quickly, growing from egg to reproductive adult in days. In colder environments, a single generation of mosquitoes could live for several months.

Other characteristics

  • Like all other insects (arthropods), mosquitoes have a head, thorax, and abdomen containing specialized organelles for interpreting sensory information (the head), for locomotion (the thorax) and for egg development and digestion (the abdomen).

  • Mosquitoes are considered one of the most medically-significant and dangerous transmitters of disease in the world.

  • There are three main variety of mosquito: aedes, anopheles, and culex. They are all similar in appearance but possess different behavioral characteristics.

More Information

Similar Insects

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