There are about 3,500 species of mosquitos found throughout the world. About 30 species have been identified in this County.
Mosquitos are annoying and can carry disease. Prince William County Mosquito and Forest Pest Management staff monitor, larvicide and spray to help control mosquitos in our community.
However, you are the best first defense against them. Here are some tips to protect you, your family and pets:
- All mosquitos must have water to reproduce, so the best way to eliminate them is to tip and toss standing water around your property at least once a week. Search for standing water in drain pipes, flower pot rims, tarps, tires, children's toys, gutters, and any other objects that can hold even the smallest amounts of water.
- Cover the end of plastic tubes used to carry water away from the downspouts. A piece of screen secured with a rubber band will work well.
- The Asian tiger mosquito is a day-time biter. It is our number one nuisance mosquito and a potential carrier of Zika virus. Asian tiger mosquitos closely associate with humans and prefer to reproduce in artificial containers. Asian tiger mosquitos only need about a tablespoon of water to complete their lifecycle! So be sure to even look for plastic bottle caps that may be holding water.
- Be sure to wear protective clothing when you are outside.
How Mosquitos Feed
Mosquitos have mouthparts that are adapted for piercing the skin of plants and animals. While males typically feed on nectar and plant juices, the female needs to obtain nutrients from a "blood meal" before she can produce eggs.
Adult females lay their eggs in standing water, which can be a salt-marsh, a lake, a puddle, a natural reservoir on a plant, or an artificial water container such as a plastic bucket. The first three stages are aquatic and last 5–14 days, depending on the species and the ambient temperature; eggs hatch to become larvae, then pupae. The adult mosquito emerges from the pupa as it floats at the water surface. Adults live for 4–8 weeks.
In some species of mosquito, the females feed on humans, and are therefore carriers for a number of
. For information on the Zika virus, click
to visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Life Cycle of the Mosquito
The Mosquito is a common insect in the family
(from the Latin culex meaning midge or gnat).
All mosquitos pass through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The
first three stages must have water