Alabama’s large mosquito population has residents in Huntsville,Birmingham and many other cities worried about Zika since it recently reached Florida. Area residents can help lower their chances of exposure to Zika, West Nile and other serious diseases by eliminating breeding grounds and knowing how to identify problematic mosquitoes.
Alabama’s Common Mosquito Breeding Grounds
Those lazy summer barbecues and pool parties may seem harmless. However, mosquitoes are attracted to the people, smells and any standing water. They are especially active near dusk. If you are planning an outdoor event, protect yourself and your guests with professional mosquito control. These are some common places where standing or pooling water facilitates mosquito breeding:
- Pet dishes
- Hot tubs
- Lakes and rivers
- Garden hoses
- Leaky underground sprinkler heads
- Pitcher plants
- Gutters and downspouts
- Garbage cans
- Types Of Mosquitoes In Alabama
According to entomologists at Auburn University, there are over 60 species of mosquitoes living in Alabama. Fortunately, most types of mosquitoes stay in places where humans rarely go. These are the types to watch out for.
Asian Tiger Mosquito
This pest was accidentally imported to the area about 40 years ago. It is now one of the most common types in the state and is capable of carrying and transmitting dengue, yellow fever, malaria, West Nile and Zika. Asian tiger mosquitoes can survive with very little water and are not afraid to take over suburban areas. This mosquito is black with white spots on its body and legs.
The good news is that fewer of these pests are found in Alabama today, and the bad news is that they are being largely replaced by the aggressive Asian tiger mosquito. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are most known for transmitting yellow fever. They are black with white spots. However, the sides of this mosquito’s abdomen are translucent and appear red when it is full of blood.
Southern House Mosquito
Scientists say that this species is capable of carrying and transmitting Zika. It can also carry multiple forms of encephalitis and West Nile virus. This pest’s body ranges in color from light brown to a dark reddish-brown after it has consumed a blood meal.
Eastern tree hole mosquitos and Japanese encephalitis mosquitoes are also dangerous vectors and are found in parts of Alabama. However, they are not as common in suburban areas as the Asian tiger mosquito.
How To Prevent Mosquito Infestations
Keep any pools or hot tubs covered when they are not in use. Ensure that sprinklers, gutters and downspouts are in good repair. Keep garden hoses drained. If possible, avoid having outdoor pet dishes, landscaping ponds, bird baths or pitcher plants. Professional mosquito control treatments are best for warding off these dangerous blood-sucking pests. Contact Mosquitonix Alabama for fast and effective solutions to all of your pest control needs.