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What You Should Know About Florida Mosquitoes

What You Should Know About Florida Mosquitoes

Although there are more than 3,000 varieties of mosquitoes worldwide, the United States is home to a fraction of them, just 175 species. Not all species live in every state, in fact, Texas holds the record of 85 different species of mosquitoes and Florida comes in at number two as the home of 80 different kinds of blood sucking mosquitoes that you need to defend yourself from.

As lovers of heat and humidity, Florida has an ideal habitat, making the job of getting rid of mosquitoes and protecting your self from the diseases that they carry is a really tricky thing. Lee County is currently in the grips of a major mosquito war, reporting a whopping 457 calls in 1 day reporting mosquito problems in May of last year. While temperature and humidity remains constant, this year is looking like a repeat of what we saw last spring, unfortunately.

Here are a few other interesting facts about the mosquito.

Males NEVER bite. The female mosquito needs human blood for her eggs to hatch properly, otherwise, she too, will drink flower nectar.

The itchy, swelling caused by the mosquito bite is due to the female injecting you with her saliva. In fact, she is doing this as a favor to you. Her saliva contains a pain reliever so that you don’t feel the bite and a coagulant, which stops the bleed once she flies away.

While mosquitoes transmit many diseases to both animals and humans, HIV is NOT one of them. In fact, the virus is destroyed by their system, making them destroyers of the virus, not carriers.

Malaria is the most deadly mosquito borne disease, claiming between 2 million to 2.5 million lives each year. Florida remained malaria free between 1948-1990, but since 1990, many Florida counties have reported malaria cases, including Palm, Gulf and Duval Counties, with Palm County having the highest number of infections. In 2009 Florida had a total of 96 confirmed malaria cases reported in 10 different counties.

Dengue, another painful disease, had 22 confirmed cases and 36 probable cases reported in Key West, Florida.

In order to protect yourself and your family, mosquito control is a must.

Drain any standing water that the mosquitoes could use as a breading ground. Make sure that you use repellent when you are outside and wear pants and long sleeve shirts as often as possible during the early mornings and evenings. Consider a mosquito misting system to keep mosquitoes off your property completely.

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