This year has been a particularly bad year for mosquitos due to the high temperatures and humidity. According to scientists, mosquito season in Georgia is lasting longer each year. In fact, Atlanta is ranked number 1 on the Top 50 Mosquito Cities. As long as temperatures stay above 50 degrees mosquitos will continue to thrive.
To defeat mosquitos you have to understand how they live. Only female mosquitoes crave blood and therefore are the only ones that bite. The male has a short lifespan of about ten days while the female can live six to eight weeks, laying clutches of 300 eggs every 3 days in pools of stagnant water. It only takes the pupae 10 days to reach maturity. When winter comes the female lays eggs in freezing water which will hatch in the spring. She then dies or hibernates depending on the species.
Female mosquitoes are expert hunters. They have built-in detectors that make it almost impossible to hide from them.
– Body Heat: Mosquitos have sensors that they use to locate a source of food. Cover up with long sleeves and pants to make it harder for them to find you.
– Dark Clothing: Remember, darker clothes retain more heat so choose lighter colored outfits.
– Our Breath: Receptors on their antenna can detect CO2 and there’s not much you can do about that.
– Sweat: They are attracted to certain chemicals in our sweat, lotions, and perfumes.
The best way to avoid mosquitos is to observe the “Five D’s.”
1. Drain – We all know mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in standing water. Check your yard for anything that might hold water; Animal waterers, buckets, flower pots, old tires, gutters, puddles.
2. Doors -Make sure there are no gaps in your windows or doors and check that your screens are intact.
3. Dress – Cover as much skin as possible with loose-fitting clothes, long sleeves, and pants.
4. DEET – Use spray repellents that contain the chemical DEET.
5. Dusk/Dawn – Mosquitoes are usually active during dusk and dawn.
Follow these tips from North Georgia Lawn to stave off these annoying pests as they linger around longer this mosquito season.