The first insect on the list of my top five least favorite insects that can cause real harm is the mosquito. In my eyes, there is not a single redeeming quality to mosquitoes. What can possibly be good about bugs that suck your blood, leaving behind itchy red welts and possibly causing serious infections?
Variations of these irritating and potentially dangerous bugs are native species all across the world, even in colder climates. In these colder climates, like here in Wisconsin, the mosquitoes enter a hibernation-like state during the winter. The bugs come back to life in the spring or when temperatures warm up. These insects need water to breed and allow the young to grow, particularly standing water. Mosquitoes aren’t picky in terms of breeding: this standing water can range in size from a pond to a rain-water ditch to a puddle to old car tires that have taken in rainwater. That is why mosquitoes are often worse during years with lots of rain and warm and humid temperatures, as the combination of these two things is ideal for mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are considered one of the most deadly creatures on Earth, causing more than 1 million deaths a year. These deaths aren’t caused by the blood loss from a mosquito bite, or by people being allergic to mosquitoes, or mosquito venom. Rather, they are caused by the diseases that mosquitoes often harbor. From Zika and the West Nile Virus to yellow fever and malaria, mosquitoes can carry a wide range of diseases, many of which can result in serious illness and even death. While this disease is essentially nonexistent in the US, malaria is the biggest culprit behind the mosquito death toll.
Thankfully, only one of the multitude of diseases carried by mosquitoes is a real concern here in Wisconsin, as most of the mosquitoes that are harborers of disease are species of the insect that cannot tolerate colder climates. But that does not mean these insects are any more likable. I, at least, am usually not one of the mosquitoes’ chosen few, despite my preference for dark colored clothing – mosquitoes are actually more attracted to certain people based on things like clothing colors (they also prefer dark colors), perfume, body temperature, and blood type.
With the amount of rain we have received so far this spring, I can only imagine that mosquito numbers are going to be out of control come summer. Living in an apartment there’s not much I can do to control mosquito numbers in my neighborhood, but if you’re a homeowner or renter don’t forget that Advanced Wildlife Control can provide sprays to significantly reduce mosquito numbers in your yard. Get your neighbors involved and we’ll give you all a discounted rate, too!