Page 54 - Aug2017

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54 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
AUGUST 2017
The mosquito’s life-cycle spans
four stages:
Egg Stage
- Most eggs are laid in clusters called
“rafts” that float on the surface of the water and
hatch within two or three days into larvae.
Larval Stage
- The larvae rises to the surface
to feed on small organic particles and
microorganisms in the water, molting four times
over several days to become pupa.
Pupal Stage
- Pupa breathes through tubes on
its back while the adult mosquito grows inside;
when fully developed the adult splits the pupal
skin to escape.
Adult Stage
- The newly developed adult rests on
the surface of the water until it is strong enough
to fly away and feed.
Eliminate Standing Water
Few creatures arouse the ill will that mosquitoes do. Their inflamed,
irritating stings can spoil a backyard gathering or a simple walk through
the garden. The only silver lining to that cloud of mosquitoes in your
garden is that they are a reliable source of food for thousands of birds,
bats, dragonflies, and frogs, and the fact that humans are really their
second choice of a meal—they much prefer horses, cattle, and birds.
But simply including insect-repelling plants does not guarantee that
your landscape will become mosquito free. The best practical approach
is the elimination of standing water—the breeding ground itself.
All mosquitoes must have water to complete their life cycle, and they
typically breed in standing water found around the home: buckets, pools
of rainwater, plant saucers, bird baths, and clogged rain gutters, anything
that can hold stagnant water. Eliminating even small amounts of
standing water can help to reduce the number of mosquitoes breeding.
The Life of a Mosquito
During the day, most mosquitoes will rest in grass, weeds,
shrubbery, and brush awaiting the dusk and twilight hours,
then emerge with a voracious appetite for the blood of
humans, mammals, and birds. The female mosquitoes bite
to secure a blood meal (attracted to their prey by the heat
and carbon dioxide emitted by the hosts), while the males
feed on plant juices.
The female mosquito can live for as long as three
weeks during the summer months and several months
in the winter laying her eggs for the spring. Recently, the
mosquito season has gotten longer due to a changing
climate that has brought warmer and more humid
conditions.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water
Mosquito larvae
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