Where Do Mosquitoes Come From?

a group of mosquitoes flying in a homeowners yard which makes them wonder where mosquitoes come from

There are over 3,500 kinds of mosquitoes, and they can be found in almost every country in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are nearly 200 different types of mosquitoes, many of which came to the country aboard ships over the past several hundred years.

For example, it’s believed that the disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito came to the U.S. on trading ships in the late 1400s and early 1500s. More recently, some types of mosquitoes have traveled to the U.S. on ships coming from the Caribbean. Another species—the Aedes albopictus—came to the country from Asia in the 1980s through a ship carrying tires.

This can be of particular concern due to the diseases mosquitoes transmit. Some of these pests carry diseases like the Zika virus, the West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever that can make humans sick or even fatally ill.

Of the nearly 200 types of mosquitoes in the U.S., around 12 of them can spread disease. Some of these species include Aedes aegypti, Culex tarsalis, Anopheles freeborni, Culex quinquefasciatus and Anopheles quadrimaculatus mosquitoes. Within the country, outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases are most common in Texas, Florida and Hawaii, but there are mosquitoes in nearly every state in the nation.

No matter which state you live in, you might notice mosquitoes coming out shortly after the weather heats up and wonder where they came from. Surprisingly, it’s likely that they were hiding out in your yard all winter. Some types of mosquitoes can hibernate through the winter. Meanwhile, other kinds of mosquitoes die off during the winter. But, before they do, they leave behind eggs to carry on their annoying legacy in your yard.

These mosquitoes lay eggs before temperatures drop. The eggs then wait throughout the winter in a process called “overwintering”. Then, once temperatures warm up above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the eggs will begin to hatch. The newly hatched mosquitoes multiply quickly, and they often start to breed and make their own mosquito babies shortly after they’re born. Mosquitoes look for any bit of standing water as a good place for their eggs.

These pests can lay eggs in even a bottle cap full of water, which is why it is so easy for mosquito populations to grow exponentially in a yard. Some of the areas around yards that mosquitoes can use as a breeding ground include buckets, plant saucers and overturned trash can lids.

Mosquitoes can have a range of negative impacts on you and your family. For one, when a mosquito bites a human, it can leave behind a painful and itchy bump. Besides being annoying, mosquitoes also have the potential to spread disease. Some types of mosquitoes can carry a range of diseases like West Nile virus, dengue fever and Zika virus. Not to mention, mosquitoes can bite dogs and transmit diseases to them as well, such as heartworm.

Although not all kinds of mosquitoes carry diseases, homeowners often find it difficult to figure out what kind of mosquitoes they have in their yard. Even if you figure out what kind of mosquitoes you have, eliminating 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 get rid of pests and control them in the future.

When dealing with a mosquito problem, many people find themselves turning to home remedies. For example, can that fire pit in your backyard help in the fight against mosquitoes? Or, maybe some tiki torches?

a lit tiki torch in hopes the smoke will keep mosquitoes away

Does Smoke Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Studies have found that smoke might be able to help repel mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, it might be even more effective than applying a repellent on your skin. However, not every kind of smoke is effective, and smoke doesn’t repel every kind of mosquito. For example, studies showed that smoke produced by burning coconut husks, wild ginger, mango wood and betelnut leaves repels some types of mosquitoes.
Beyond smoke, there are many other “natural” methods that people use to try to control mosquitoes. Although they aren’t completely effective in controlling mosquitoes, some of these natural methods have been found to have some usefulness in repelling mosquitoes. Some of these methods include:
  • Running an oscillating fan when you’re outside.
  • Applying certain oils like lavender, oil of lemon eucalyptus or picardin.
  • Planting some kinds of herbs and flowers like sage, rosemary, basil, tulsi, geraniums, marigolds, pennyroyal, lemongrass, peppermint, catnip or garlic.
  • Lighting citronella candles near where you’re sitting outside.
  • Trying to attract animals that eat mosquitoes. For example, setting up bird feeders can attract birds that eat mosquitoes, while installing a shallow pond in a sunny area can attract dragonflies that feed on mosquitoes.
One of the best ways to keep these pests away is to make your yard and home less attractive to mosquitoes. Some of the most common preventative steps you can take include:
  • Clean out water sitting in items in your yard, such as plant saucers, sandboxes, toys, old tires, toddler pools, garbage can lids or buckets.
  • Keep the top on your trash can, and cover other containers like cisterns, rain barrels or water tanks with screens.
  • Don’t overwater your lawn or garden.
  • At least once a day, swap out any water in your pet’s bowl that they don’t drink.
  • Clear out or regularly change the water in your ornamental pond or bird bath. If you can’t drain a water feature, you can use a larvicide to kill mosquitoes in non-drinking water. Or, consider adding fish like goldfish that eat mosquito larvae and use a pump to circulate the water.
  • Fill in holes or level out parts of your lawn where water can gather.
  • Remove stagnant water that’s gathered on tarps, grill covers or flat areas of your roof.
  • Clean out any debris that’s gathered in your pool or hot tub, and ensure chlorine is at the proper level. Also, take measures to control mosquito larvae in your pool.
  • Remove debris, leaves and standing water from your gutters, window wells, storm drains and downspouts.
  • Trim grass, hedges and other vegetation, and clear away yard clippings, raked leaves and other debris.
  • Regularly change out water in vases and indoor flower pots.
  • Keep doors and windows closed when possible and install screens to help prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
Since there are so many kinds of mosquito repellent on the market and these pests can hide in so many areas of your property, mosquito control is often difficult for homeowners who try to do it on their own. However, you don’t have to handle this alone. A mosquito control specialist can take care of everything for you. These pros have in-depth training and knowledge of the different methods of mosquito control. They can help you understand your options and help you choose the pest control solution that makes the most sense for you and your family.
a mosquito biting someone

How Do Mosquitoes See?

Would you believe that mosquitoes can see or even smell you? Recent studies have proven that mosquitoes have these senses, plus they can use them to find victims to bite. For one, mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which is the gas that we all breathe out when we exhale. This is why mosquitoes might find it easier to invite themselves to your party if you’re sitting outside with a group of friends or doing heavy exercise outdoors.

Additionally, these pests can sense the heat that humans give off, and they’re drawn to warm bodies. On top of sensing carbon dioxide, mosquitoes can smell the chemicals in our sweat, so you might also attract them with your sweat and body odor—especially during hotter summer months. Also, mosquitoes can be attracted to perfume, scented lotion, strong-smelling deodorant and other similar products.

Whenever you plan to spend time outdoors, try to avoid putting on anything with a strong smell. Additionally, consider wearing moisture-wicking fabrics, which can help you sweat less and make you less attractive to mosquitoes. It can also help to sit near a fan because mosquitoes have trouble flying in the wind.

Mosquitoes also find victims by looking for contrasting colors against the color of the sky. This means wearing dark colors like blue, black or gray may make you more of a target. It’s best to wear light-colored clothes made of synthetic fibers or other tightly woven materials that can help you avoid mosquito bites.

Unfortunately, it’s often impossible to completely hide from mosquitoes, but a professional can help provide additional protection from these pests. These pros can set up an effective pest control plan, so you and your family members don’t have to worry about getting eaten alive when you should be relaxing.

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, and treat these pests throughout their life cycle. This way, you and your family members can feel at ease when enjoying time at home.

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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