South Florida is a paradise for people as it is for many animals and pests. Among the known pests, mosquitoes are among the tiniest yet most annoying. A few of these species are particularly dangerous to human and animal health.
Common Mosquito Species in South Florida
The black salt marsh mosquitoes, or Aedes taeniorhynchus, are very small pests that move in swarms. They are fierce biters, leaving victims with bug bites and sores for those with extreme sensitivity to the bites. The Zika virus is transmitted by a species of Aedes mosquitoes. Standing water especially during the rainy season increases the population of salt marsh mosquitoes as the larvae hatch at this time.
The Asian tiger mosquito, or Aedes albopictus, transmits the virus that causes dengue fever. A close relation, the Aedes aegypti, is the primary vector for dengue and yellow fever viruses in urban areas. While the Asian tiger mosquito prefers vegetation and mainly lays eggs outdoors, the yellow fever mosquito can lay eggs indoors with special preference for man-made containers.
The mosquito species known as Psorophora ciliata are most closely associated with floodwater mosquitoes because the eggs are deposited in dry areas and larvae await the onset of floodwaters to hatch in droves. These aggressive biters have been found to carry the equine encephalitis virus.
The genus referred to as Culex includes the common house mosquito. It is a weak flier, but it is an aggressive biter. The Culex quinquefasciatus species is a carrier of the human encephalitis virus. Some species of the genus Anopheles can transmit malaria when they feed on an infected person’s blood then subsequently bite a healthy person. The females are the disease vectors, but they are also the aggressive biters as they require blood meal for reproduction.
Mosquito Management Strategies
It is estimated that there are 3,500 mosquito species worldwide, and 200 of these species are found in the U.S. About 80 of these species have been identified in Florida samples, 33 of which are known to be hazardous to human and animal health. While habitats, developmental stages and potential hazards vary, most of these species thrive as Florida seasons change from dry to rainy. The presence of standing water promotes larvae hatching, so public health authorities recommend eliminating potential mosquito breeding grounds. Local governments may initiate eradication programs at the peak of mosquito season, but these efforts may not be enough.
Protect your Family from Mosquito Infestation
At the first sign of a mosquito scourge, contact MosquitoNix. We service all areas from southernmost Key West all the way north to Port St. Lucie. Our trademark QuickNix mosquito treatment program attacks mosquito problems on three fronts: a backpack spray treatment to eliminate vegetation-loving adult mosquitoes, an all-natural granule treatment to repel mosquitoes in targeted outdoor areas and a larvacide application on all standing water areas. Enjoy your outdoor living areas without fear of bugs, bites and mosquito-borne diseases. Call MosquitoNix for a consultation with our experts.