Floodwater Mosquitoes have pointed abdomens, Semi-Permanent Mosquitoes have rounded ones
Mosquitoes are an annoyances for many and a little “skeeter” savvy can go a long way to reducing the problem on your property. Like pest flies, mosquitoes have very specific requirements to survive so minimizing mosquito reproduction almost always offers the biggest benefit.
All the mosquito species in the US fall into two types. The Floodwater Mosquito reproduces in intermittent water such as rainwater runoff that pools in depressions or flood irrigated fields, that only have standing water periodically (lasting more than 3 days), then dry out. The Semi-Permanent Mosquito reproduces in continuous still water locations like catch basins, ditches, stock tanks, ponds, & marshes. None reproduce in moving water.
If you are getting bit during the daytime, and only occasionally, then its most likely Floodwater Mosquitoes that came from intermittent water. If getting bit constantly and mostly just before dusk, those probably are Semi-Permanent Mosquitoes from continuous water that is nearby.
Floodwater Mosquitoes can go quite a distance as they drift with the breeze. The Semi-Permanent ones do not range as far, typically 1/4 mile, so they are likely reproducing near to you which means you can prevent them.
Prevention comes from either removing or changing any standing water frequently or stopping the reproduction in that water by adding a Mosquito Torpedo (page 17), Bti or mosquito fish. Be aware that if you dump out your horse’s water trough frequently, you could be creating a fly factory, if you dump it on manure that now will be kept damp. Dump the water away from manure, or put a Torpedo in trough once every 60 days. The round Bti dunks you get from a hardware store should not be put in animal water.
Like flies, mosquitoes use weeds to rest in out of the sun, so keep things well trimmed near you and your animals and force the bugs to rest elsewhere. Mosquitoes don’t tolerate wave action so removing the plants growing in the shallow water at the edges of ponds and lakes is useful.
For mosquitoes that are coming from afar, or if you happen to be in their territory (meal time), repellents help and so can wearing a white shirt and hat, instead of dark colors. Mosquitoes and many other biting flies don’t see white, but are attracted to dark shapes. Never use DEET on your animals. Mosquitoes cannot fly well at wind speeds above 7 mph so try fans.
Dr. Bill ClymerFort Dodge Animal Health, Dr. Roy EllisPrairie Pest Management, Dr. Kevin FloateAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dr. Robert M. Miller, DVM, Dr. William QuarlesBio-Integral Resource Center. All illustrations 2006 Dr. Roy Ellis.
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