FACTS ABOUT MOSQUITOES & TICKS
One of the best-known summer pests, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water or soft soil. There are about 170 different kinds of mosquito species in North America alone.
Mosquitoes hunt for food by detecting body heat and the carbon dioxide humans exhale. However, only female mosquitoes suck our blood. Male mosquitoes feed on plant nectars.
Mosquitoes can breed in any form of stagnant water, including ponds, marshes, floodwaters, storm drains, old tires and water in tree holes.
Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis and West Nile virus – a disease that has become a serious concern in the U.S. in recent years. Signs of West Nile virus include common flu-like symptoms. In extreme cases, symptoms include high fever, head and body aches, worsening weakness, confusion and even coma. Practicing mosquito management when outdoors can help reduce the risk of disease from bites
A notorious biting arachnid, the blacklegged tick is named for its dark legs, which are in contrast to its pale body. Blacklegged ticks are sometimes called deer ticks.
During the winter, adult ticks feed primarily on the blood of white-tailed deer, which is why they are sometimes called deer ticks. In the spring, a female tick will drop off its host and will deposit about 3,000 eggs. Nymphs, or baby ticks, feed on mice, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, dogs, humans and birds.
Blacklegged ticks prefer to hide in grass and shrubs while waiting for a passing host.
Blacklegged ticks or deer ticks are a vector of anaplasmosis, babeosis and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a primary concern in the United States. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic bull’s eye-shaped skin rash. Lyme disease can also affect joints, the heart and the nervous system if left untreated.