|Mosquito and Bee Facts From the
Environmental Protection Agencies
Mosquito life cycles vary between species but for most, it takes only a few weeks for them to develop from egg to adult. Laying up to 300 eggs at a time, the female mosquito feeds on blood while the male mosquito feeds on flower nectar. She lays her eggs in an area that should become wet. The eggs can lie dormant for up to 3 years until water allows them to hatch.
Are mosquitoes dangerous?
Mosquito bites are generally innocuous but unfortunately, they have the potential to spread a lot of potentially harmful diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO), has said that more than half of the world’s current population is at risk from mosquito-borne diseases. They are known carriers of the Zika virus, yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria, chikungunya, West Nile Virus and a number of other diseases – all of which can be spread by a single bite.
How can I prevent mosquitoes?
The best way to avoid mosquito infestation is by removing the areas that can turn into breeding sites.
- Eliminate standing water around your home and yard in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats.
- Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt.
- Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.
Avoid Getting Bitten
1. Keep mosquitoes away from exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.
2. Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks to cover gaps in your clothing where mosquitoes can get to your skin.
3. Stay indoors when possible, especially if there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect.
4. Use EPA-registered mosquito repellents when necessary and follow label directions and precautions closely.
5. Replace your outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights, which tend to attract fewer mosquitoes than ordinary lights.
The yellow lights are NOT repellents, however.
Bees are integral to many of our agricultural crops. Not only do they produce honey, but they're responsible for the pollination of various fruits and vegetables. According to the EPA, unfortunately, many mosquito insecticides are harmful to bees, particularly field worker bees that venture outside the hive. Since spraying can kill bees that are outside of their hives at the time; spraying is done at dawn or dusk when bees are usually inside their hives. The EPA recommends beekeepers reduce exposure by covering colonies when spraying takes place. This can be done with wet burlap or another breathable material, which will allow the hive to get the air it needs while protecting it. You can also, if possible, relocate colonies to an untreated site or by placing hives no closer than 300 feet from roadways where ground and truck operations may occur. Providing clean sources of food (supplemental sugar water and protein diets) and clean drinking water to honey bee colonies during application can further reduce exposure.