Biting Insects 101

Excepting chirping crickets and pretty ladybugs, most of us have a horror of bugs. Unfortunately, insects with females that need blood for food in order to reproduce live everywhere around you and can threaten your health and peace with their bites. Here's a little introduction to our common biting insect species that you certainly want to avoid if at all possible.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes need water to breed. Therefore, any place with a lot of water will almost certainly have a population of them. While they're a good insect for bats, birds, fish and other creatures that feed on them, they're not so good when they feed on us. The males do not bite, but there never seems to be a shortage of females that do. Mosquitoes carry several types of communicable diseases which they spread when biting. In North America, mosquitoes can spread West Nile Virus. Mosquito bites, at the very least, cause red, itchy welts that you'd rather avoid.

To lessen the numbers of mosquitoes harassing your family, make sure you empty anything on your property that holds standing water after a rain or irrigation. Also, keep your thick vegetation, such as grass and weeds mowed regularly and your trees and shrubs trimmed. This will also help protect you from ticks.

Ticks

As arachnids (like spiders), ticks have no wings by which to come to you. Rather, they wait patiently on tree branches, leaves and grass until a mammal brushes by. Then they drop down or climb aboard and look for a good place to bite.

Found in heavily vegetated areas, ticks also spread disease. Dog ticks, black-legged deer ticks, lone star ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks make up the majority of species in the United States. Hazards of tick bites include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease.

Found in heavily vegetated areas, ticks also spread disease. Dog ticks, black-legged deer ticks, lone star ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks make up the majority of species in the United States. Hazards of tick bites include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease.

They vary in color, from gray to dark brown, and appear like flattened ovals. The longer the head remains under the surface of the skin once it bites, the better the chances an infected tick will pass on the parasite or bacteria of infection.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs come out at night when you're sleeping. At a quarter of an inch long, you can readily see adults if you expose them. They resemble apple seeds in shape and color. While bed bugs don't spread disease, they do cause a lot of annoying, itchy welts. Like with fleas, you can develop an allergy to bed bug saliva, which renders further bites more dangerous.

Fleas

The tiny flea has a narrow body and reddish brown color. The common species is the cat flea which loves to feast on pets and humans alike. It, too, spreads disease, such as the bubonic plague and murine typhus. Also, they can act as intermediate hosts for tapeworms.

Eradicating biting insects from your home and yard presents a daunting challenge. Some retail "solutions" can even make the problems worse. To create a safe environment for your family, call us at Perfection Pest Control. We will happily inspect your property for pests and offer a sensible plan to exterminate any pesky species invading your space. Contact us today!

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