Myths & Facts About Mosquitoes Northern Virginia Homeowners Want Answers About

Posted On: June 25,2019 By: Todd Thomasson

mosquito biting fingerWhen it comes to mosquitoes, you want hard facts. You’ve likely heard that these pests can be dangerous, carrying diseases like Zika or West Nile viruses, but you don’t know whether other information you’ve heard about them is fact or fiction. Because of this, you might have some questions about mosquitoes.

Your desire to learn more is admirable. Knowledge is power and being properly educated can make a difference in how you might pursue a mosquito problem at your Northern Virginia property.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the most important mosquito facts that you ought to know. Understanding more about these dangerous pests can help you know how to best combat them.

Why Do Mosquitoes Need Water?

You might have heard that mosquitoes need to be around water to survive—but you might not understand why. The simple answer is that water is needed to “incubate” mosquito eggs. Of the more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world (about 175 in the United States), they all share this need for water.

wet grass in northern Virginia

Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in standing water where they will hatch into larvae, called “wigglers.” Mosquitoes will then spend their first 10 days in the water, feeding on organic matter in the stagnant water while breathing oxygen from the surface. From there, they will develop into pupae (which do not feed while partially encased in cocoons), and finally, over a period of several days, evolve into adults.

Because mosquitoes require water for eggs to hatch, eliminating standing water around your property can make a big difference in reducing their population. Aim to keep gutters cleaned so they drain properly and to make sure that any stagnant water around your property is addressed by being dumped out. Water can collect in un-used wheelbarrows, watering cans (and other containers and buckets left around the property), toys, flower pots, and more.

Is the Northern Virginia Climate Favorable to Mosquitoes?

Unfortunately for us, the weather and wetland-like conditions in the Ashburn, Aldie, and Leesburg, VA area make it ideal for mosquitoes.

While they can survive in a lot of different climates (with the exception of the extreme cold), they tend to really thrive in warm and wet weather, which our warm season certainly brings. Our mosquito season generally begins in April and goes through the late fall, depending on how long it stays warm.

What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Carry?

West Nile virus and Zika virus are definitely the two diseases that most people know about. But there are other diseases that these pests can carry. These include the Chikungunya virus, Dengue, and Malaria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), although most people do not become sick after a bite from an infected mosquito, some people have a mild, short-term illness or (rarely) severe or long-term illness. Severe cases of mosquito-borne diseases can cause death.

Can Mosquitoes Fly Far?

A common question that we get is can mosquitoes fly long distances? The answer is, “No”. A lot of people assume that mosquitoes are strong flyers but the truth is, they do not fly for long periods of time at once. For that reason, they most often stay within several hundred feet of where they have hatched, as long as they can continually find a meal in that area.

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When mosquitoes fly, they land often to rest every 5-10 yards. This is one of the key reasons that mosquito control products are able to be so effective. When mosquito spray is applied strategically to areas where mosquitoes are likely to stop and rest during flight (such as shrubs, low branches of trees, and on structures near your patio) they’ll be eradicated before ever making it to you for a meal.

How Do Mosquitoes Find Their Next Meal?

Many insects,including mosquitoes, are attracted by the odor of the carbon dioxide (CO2) gas that humans and other animals naturally exhale. This is generally how they seek you out in order to find their next meal.

They first detect the CO2, which they can sense from 30-feet or more away, and start heading in your direction. Once they get closer, they’ll use your body heat to seek you out.

In addition to that, recent research also shows that mosquitoes can also detect chemicals in human sweat.

When are Mosquitoes Most Active?

Mosquito activity can vary from species to species. While some are more active during the daytime hours, others are more active at night. However, for the majority of United States-based mosquitoes, activity peaks during “dusk.” That means that if you step outside in the evening hours, you may be more likely to get bit.

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Of course, you still have to be careful during daytime hours, as well. The Asian Tiger mosquito, which is common in Virginia, tends to bite during the day. More specifically, the Asian tiger mosquito is most likely to bite in the morning and late afternoon.

The bottom line? Any time that you’re stepping outside, you need to be cognizant of the possible presence of mosquitoes.

Is Mosquito Control Safe?

The safety of mosquito control is a hot topic. Homeowners never want to feel as though they have to compromise their safety by spraying their yard in order to protect themselves from the dangers of these pests. In the past, that felt like the case. Products that were effective weren’t necessarily also safe.

little boys in lawn safe from mosquitoes

However, now there is an organic mosquito spray that actually works. This is the product utilized by Rock Water Farm. It’s an added bonus that it works just as well on ticks. Now you can protect your family from both of these dangerous pests.

Many of our customers have young children and pets and we can confidently assure them that our product is safe. You can let the kids and the pets play in the yard without the concern of exposure to harsh chemicals. Comprised of organic cedar oil, our natural tick and mosquito control is completely harmless to people and pets while being effective against insects.

Do Mosquitoes Eat Anything Besides Blood?

Actually, you might be surprised to learn that mosquitoes don’t only drink blood. All adult mosquitoes feed on the nectar of plants to get sugar, which provides the nourishment they need to survive.

However, in addition to sugar, female mosquitoes also require a blood meal for protein. This is necessary for them to be able to produce eggs. Blood may come from humans or other mammals, birds, reptiles, and some amphibians. Mosquitoes drink about 3 milligrams of blood per feeding.

Does Mosquito Control Really Work?

Of all the questions that we receive, we get this one most often. The simple answer is, “Yes”. But you’re probably still wondering, how do we know that it works? The two main things that we tell are customers are:

  1. We don’t receive complaint calls saying the product was ineffective. Instead, we get plenty of positive feedback from clients who are really happy with the product.

  2. We use it on our own properties (I use it on mine, personally), so we can also attest to this fact ourselves.

Even so, you might be wondering how does mosquito control work?

Our safe mosquito control product works because it is primarily made from cedar oil. The natural aroma of cedar oil is a major deterrent to mosquitoes. An added benefit is that if mosquitoes come into contact with cedar oil, it can kill them, their eggs, and their larvae.

In addition to cedar oil, our organic tick and mosquito control product also includes a proprietary blend of other organic ingredients for a mixture that is deadly to pests but harmless to humans.

It’s Time to Take Back Your Yard

Happy family running in lawn  safe from mosquitoesIf you’ve been living with a mosquito problem then you’re likely ready to find a solution that will work. It’s frustrating to feel as though you can’t enjoy your own backyard because of these pests. You deserve to be able to enjoy your property to the fullest and not be held hostage by mosquitoes.

Fortunately, there are safe, effective solutions out there.

Rather than spending any more time worrying, take back control of your yard and get back to enjoying your time outside by hiring a professional mosquito control company. Of course, it’s important to remember that not all mosquito control companies are using safe and organic products. Some are using harsh chemicals to combat these pests.

But at Rock Water Farm, our product is both safe and effective, giving our clients the best of both worlds. As a result, our natural mosquito control provides invaluable peace of mind. You can feel confident knowing that your family is being protected from these dangerous and unwanted pests.

If you’d like to discuss safely protecting your Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA home from mosquitoes, talk to an expert, choose a solution that rocks, and then get ready to take back control of your property.

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Todd Thomasson

Written by Todd Thomasson

Todd Thomasson, founded Rock Water Farm Landscapes & Hardscapes in 2005. Having grown up with hard working parent role models and a strong work ethic, Todd put his Landscape & Turf Management degree from Virginia Tech into action as the lead stone mason and landscape designer for the new company. Over the years, the responsibility and opportunity of running this company has been shared with other members of the Rock Water Farm team, launching one of the leading property maintenance companies in Loudoun County. Todd is still rooted in his passion for design/build projects and continues to run the company, working with clients to design, build and maintain perfect outdoor spaces with his team.