Can You Get Lyme Disease From Mosquitoes?

a mosquito biting someone

For most folks, the itchy bites that mosquitoes inflict on us are reason enough to want them gone. But, once you start thinking about the diseases these pests can spread, you may want to know the quickest ways you can get rid of these pests. Unfortunately, the CDC reports that illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled in the United States. From 2004 to 2016, there were more than 640,000 reported cases of illnesses transmitted from these pests.

Recently, it has become pretty well known that mosquitoes can spread the Zika virus. Therefore, it’s natural to wonder if they can also spread Lyme disease or other diseases.

There is good news for those worried about Lyme disease. According to the CDC, Lyme disease cannot be spread by mosquitoes. It can only be spread through the bite of infected ticks. Adult ticks are about the size of a sesame seed, and they often latch on to our bodies in hard-to-see places like our armpits.

Although mosquitoes can’t spread Lyme disease to humans or pets, these pests can still transmit other diseases, including:

  • West Nile virus,
  • dog heartworm,
  • Chikungunya virus,
  • dengue and
  • malaria.

Although not all kinds of mosquitoes carry diseases, it’s difficult to figure out if the mosquito species on your property is a species that does carry disease. Even if you do figure out what kind of mosquitoes you have, controlling these pests is a whole other challenge. That’s why it’s best to contact a professional for mosquito control. These pros have the skills needed to help you control these pests and keep their populations low.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

While it does seem like mosquitoes tend to favor some people, there are steps everyone can take to reduce the risk of mosquitoes biting you. Wearing light-colored clothing is one way. Research has shown that mosquitoes bother people wearing light-colored clothing less than those wearing darker colors. Also, scientists have found that female mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid output, although the full explanation as to why is still up for debate. Since females are the only mosquitoes that bite people, when we wear darker clothing and sweat more, our lactic acid output increases, making us much more attractive to these pests. Scientists have also found that female mosquitoes are attracted to body heat, movement and carbon dioxide output.

Wearing and reapplying an insect repellent can be an excellent way of discouraging these pesky bugs from biting you. Make sure to use an EPA-registered repellent with an active ingredient like DEET. These are considered to be the most effective and are easily found. For those that prefer more natural products, studies have shown that repellents with lemon eucalyptus can be helpful.

While there are repellents that you apply directly to your skin, some folks have found success in mosquito repellent plants. Peppermint, lavender and basil are some of the varieties that are rumored to be an effective measure for mosquito control. Unfortunately, there isn’t widespread success with using these plants to deter mosquitoes and there is no scientific evidence to back these claims up. Additionally, the leaves need to be crushed in order to release their oils which will then help repel mosquitoes. Just having the plants won’t be enough to repel these annoying insects.

At the end of the day, the most effective solution for mosquito control is a pest control plan created by a licensed and experienced specialist. A mosquito control professional has the expertise to recommend treatments for your yard that will meet your needs. This way, you can get back to enjoying a book on the porch or having friends over for a party in the yard.

mosquitoes buzzing around a house at night

Why Do Mosquitoes Come Out at Night?

Many homeowners know that mosquitoes can bite you at any time of day. Yet, it can seem like mosquitoes are more active at night. So, when exactly do mosquitoes come out?

Since there are thousands of species of mosquitoes in the world, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some mosquitoes, like the Culex species, rest during the day in shaded areas to hide from the heat of the day. While some mosquito species only come out during the day or the night, there are also species that feed all day.

Even with the different types of mosquitoes, one thing they have in common is that mosquito season begins when the weather goes above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Like most of us, these insects enjoy the warmer weather and will become inactive or die off below that 50 degrees. When temperatures are over 50 degrees, mosquito eggs that have been laid in the water begin to hatch into larvae. This only heightens the area’s mosquito population. This means that during the warmer months, mosquitoes can and will bother people at any time of the day.

Unfortunately, it seems that both humans and mosquitoes tend to favor warm weather. Since temperatures in some states stay fairly warm into the fall and even the winter months, people who live in these states are exposed to a fair amount of chances to run into mosquitoes. Luckily, experts can help you get rid of these buzzing and biting bugs so you can enjoy the warm weather again.

Many homeowners find mosquito control difficult to do on their own, whether based on a lack of knowledge or experience. This is why so many homeowners choose to sign up for ongoing mosquito control services. This way, they know that a professional is hard at work treating their property for these irritating pests.

a backyard set up for a party

How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes In Your Yard for a Party

When the weather is nice, there’s nothing better than having a relaxed party in your backyard. Many families love the casual nature of a yard party. Unfortunately, mosquitoes can ruin the party if your guests become the dinner for these little insects.

There are steps that homeowners can take to reduce the number of mosquitoes in their yard for an upcoming party. However, planning ahead of time is crucial. The most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes often takes weeks to execute. Unfortunately, reducing the population of mosquitoes in your yard isn’t a quick process.

Addressing any standing water on your property is the first step for homeowners to take. Many people don’t realize how little water mosquitoes need to survive. Any water in outside pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, pool covers or birdbaths are more than enough for mosquitoes to start laying eggs.

Other standing water sources that we often forget about include:

  • vases,
  • discarded tires,
  • buckets,
  • trash cans and
  • rain barrels.

If you notice any small, thin, light-brown or whitish larvae in standing water that are about a quarter-inch long, these are likely live mosquito larvae. Ones that have already hatched from eggs tend to hang out at the surface of the water. They may also twitch in a repetitive motion.

Ultimately, the best way to reduce mosquito populations before a party is to contact a mosquito control specialist. This specialist can use a combination of strategies to eliminate adult mosquitoes and mosquito larvae.

That said, a few ways you can limit the number of mosquitoes that stop by on the day of your party include:

  • Avoiding any floral decorations that smell too sweet.
  • Eliminating certain appetizers. Plates of ripe cheese left out in the sun attract mosquitoes. Soft cheeses such as brie and Limburger are especially attractive to mosquitoes
  • Cut back high grass, brush and tree limbs. By reducing tall grass or limbs, the area immediately surrounding your home will be less appealing to mosquitoes.

Finally, simply letting people know that the soiree will be outside is an important step. This way, they can choose to wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants or socks. Additionally, because mosquitoes can be attracted to perfume, you and your guests may choose not to wear it for the night.

Typically, the best way to reduce mosquito populations before a party is to contact a mosquito control specialist who can utilize a combination of strategies to control these pests. Many reputable companies offer ongoing mosquito control services. This means that you can throw an impromptu outdoor party without having to worry about your guests being annoyed by mosquitoes all night.

ABC Can Control Mosquitoes Around Your Home and Yard

Many people find themselves wondering how they ended up with so many mosquitoes around their property. When you contact ABC Home & Commercial Services, we will locate and eliminate mosquito breeding areas. Our experts take trusted measures to treat these pests throughout their life cycle. This way, you can get back to enjoying your home and yard with friends and family.

Russell Jenkins

Russell Jenkins is the Chief Communications Officer for ABC Home and Commercial Services in North Texas. Russell has been working as part of the ABC Family since he was 12 years old under the direction of his father, Owner Dennis Jenkins, and has since held several leadership roles at ABC. Russell holds a degree in Agricultural Leadership from Texas A&M University, and is a Food Safety Specialist. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and two children, playing tennis, and gaming.

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