House Mosquitoes

( Culex spp. )

 

Characteristics

SIZE: Depends on density of larval population and food supply. Average size is about one-eighth of an inch to three-fourths of an inch.

COLOR: Pale brown with white bands running across abdomen on certain species.

BEHAVIOR: House mosquitoes have close associations with people. When people are bitten in their own yard, it usually means mosquitoes are breeding somewhere on the same property or in a yard nearby. However, when a food source is lacking, mosquitoes will travel up to 14 miles away from their water source for a blood meal. Mosquitoes are most active just after dusk.

Habitats

House mosquito larvae breed in highly polluted, standing water that remains fairly calm and undisturbed. Larvae may be found along the edges of a pond or a ditch, but they will not be found in a quick-running stream or creek. As a rule of thumb, any water that stands for at least seven days can breed mosquitoes.

Often, mosquito outbreaks occur within two weeks of heavy rainfall where ditches, puddles and other low-lying areas fill-up with water. House mosquitoes may be found breeding in clogged gutters, cisterns, storm drains and other sources of water that are high in organic content.

Tips for Control

Preventing mosquitoes from breeding is the first step of mosquito control. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. To eliminate standing water around your home, you should:

  • Empty and refill birdbaths at least once per week.

  • Drill holes in the bottom of tire swings to prevent rainwater from accumulating.

  • Avoid using barrels or other containers to capture rainwater unless container is emptied often.

  • Empty children’s “kiddie” pools regularly.

  • Examine gutters regularly. Conditions, such as debris or loose guttering, should be corrected.

  • Fill in accessible tree holes with a material that will not harm the tree. Check with a local nursery for advice.

  • Use soil to fill in low areas in lawns and landscaped areas that allow rainwater to collect and stand for more than seven days.

  • Install an agitator in garden ponds used in landscaping or buy fish that eat mosquito larvae. The wave actions created by an agitator can prevent adult mosquitoes from successfully emerging from pupae.

If you have a mosquito problem, it's recommended to call a mosquito control professional rather than try to DIY it. Learn more about the mosquito service at Terminix®.