Mosquito Control in New England

Protect Your Home or Business from Mosquitoes in Boston, MA, CT, RI, ME, NH and VT

General Information

Members of the family Culicidae and belonging to the order Diptera, mosquitoes form one of the most prevalent and recognizable groups of insects in the world.

More than 3,000 different species of mosquitoes exist worldwide, including roughly 200 in the United States with about 40 to 50 present in each New England state.

Closely related to flies, mosquitoes are widely known for their irritating bite and, in some cases, for their ability to spread endemic diseases. While cases of mosquito-borne illnesses remain rare in the New England area, certain species known to transmit serious diseases are common throughout the region.

Picture of Mosquito
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Appearance / Identification

What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?

Similar to flies and other Dipteran insects, mosquitoes have one pair of functional forewings and a hind pair reduced to knobbed balancing organs termed halteres.

Mosquito wings are typically lined with scales and produce a distinctive, high-pitched buzzing or humming sound when the insects fly. The bodies of mosquitoes are also characterized by a set of three long, thin legs on each side.

Both male and female mosquitoes feature an elongated appendage extending from the mouth termed a proboscis. Male and female mosquitoes are easily distinguished by the antenna with males having bushy/feathery antenna and females lacking this characteristic.

Adult mosquitoes generally range in size from 1/8 to 3/4 of an inch.

Habits

As cold-blooded creatures, mosquitoes usually emerge during spring and summer months when the New England weather is warmest.

The insects require water to initiate/complete their life cycle and consistently make habitats out of swamps, flooded woodland areas, and other bodies of stagnant liquid, like drainage ditches and swimming pools.

Mainly active between dusk and dawn, mosquitoes do fly on cloudy days but tend to avoid direct sunlight. Mosquitoes rarely fly at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and generally either hibernate (life stage specific for different mosquitoes) or die as cold New England winters approach.

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Diet

What Do Mosquitoes Eat?

While victims of mosquito bites often assume the insects feed on blood, mosquitoes actually adhere to a diet of nectar and other sugars derived from plants.

Only female mosquitoes ingest the blood of humans and other animals solely to obtain protein for the production and nourishment of eggs. The insects acquire the necessary blood from a variety of sources, including:

  • Birds
  • Humans and other mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians

Mosquitoes identify sources of blood by sensing body heat, aromas, and carbon dioxide blown into the air.

Reproduction & Life Cycle

All mosquitoes experience a life cycle consisting of four different stages:
  • Egg
  • Larva
  • Pupa
  • Adult

The egg stage is created when mated female mosquitoes ingest a bloodmeal from another animal.

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs directly on the surface of stagnant bodies of water. The larval stage, often known as wigglers or wrigglers due to the motions they make while swimming in water, begins after the mosquito eggs hatch.

After feeding and developing sufficiently, larvae enter the third stage, called pupa, of the mosquito life cycle. Mosquitoes live as pupae for up to a week and abstain from eating during this time period.

At the final stage of development, mosquitoes emerge from the water as adults ready to initiate reproduction and repeat the life cycle.

On average, the mosquito life cycle takes about two weeks to complete but can range from a few days up to a month depending on environmental conditions.

Problems Caused by Mosquitoes

Bites & Disease

When female mosquitoes feed on the blood of humans, the bite produces an itchy red welt indicative of an allergic reaction to the insects' saliva.

More than simply a nuisance, mosquito bites can also serve as portals for diseases to enter the human body. Mosquitoes spread dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases by feeding on an infected host animal and then passing on the bacteria or virus to humans while ingesting its next blood meal.

Female mosquitoes are responsible for recent increases in cases of West Nile Virus affecting several New England states. The New England region is also susceptible to Eastern Equine Encephalitis, the most serious disease spread by mosquitoes in the United States.

Mosquitoes are also known vectors of dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever, though these diseases are generally restricted to tropical areas. Female mosquitoes are also known vectors of pet heartworms.

Reducing Problems
After rainfall, properties may harbor hidden areas of standing water that can become perfect breeding spots for mosquitoes. These areas include water in gutters, window wells, and empty flower pots. Significantly reduce mosquito numbers by eliminating stagnant water that promotes their reproduction.

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How We Get Rid of Mosquitos

For homeowners who often find their outdoor activities pushed indoors because of nuisance mosquitoes, Waltham's Mosquito Abatement Service is the ideal solution.  Whether you own a home in Boston, Manchester, Scarborough or elsewhere in New England, Waltham Pest Services offers you a mosquito plan that is designed to reduce the presence of mosquitoes on or around your property with individualized service for your home.

Mosquito Abatement Service program is designed to reduce the mosquito population on the entire property.

The experts from Waltham Pest Services will identify mosquito breeding sites. They will eliminate these breeding sites by draining or treating the standing water. This will eliminate many of the eggs and immature mosquitoes.

The technicians will also treat shady harborage areas and shrubbery near the home. This treatment will eliminate many of the adult mosquitoes.

For everyone’s safety, the technicians will ask the homeowner to remove items like toys and sporting equipment from the area that will be treated. They will also ask that people and pets stay indoors with the windows closed during the treatment.

The Mosquito Abatement Program from Waltham Pest Services is available as a one-time service or as a season-long program. Call the local Waltham Pest Services branch office for more information.