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Culex MosquitoesCulex species and others
Culex Mosquito Identification
Varies; mostly gray with white, silver, green or iridescent blue scales
1/4 - 3/8 inch long
Found throughout U.S.
What do mosquitoes look like?
Culex mosquitoes can vary in color, typically appearing gray with white, silver, green or iridescent blue scales. They have two wings, a set of antennae, slender bodies and long legs. Culex mosquitoes are usually about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch in length, although their body size can slightly differ depending on how recently they’ve fed. Individually, mosquitoes are very difficult to spot as they fly because of their small size and due to the fact that they are most active at dawn and dusk.
Signs of an Infestation
If you find you or your family are becoming covered in mosquito bites, chances are you have an infestation. Culex mosquitoes are attracted to warm and moist environments, so properties in close proximity to marshes, ponds or lakes are at higher risk for an infestation. Additionally, stagnant water around the property in areas such bird baths, kiddie pools and overturned grill and trash can covers can make for ideal mosquito breeding grounds and can signal their presence. The pests themselves are difficult to see during the day, as they typically come out at dawn and dusk.
Culex Mosquito Infestation
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Culex mosquitoes are known for causing itchy, red spots on your body from their bite. There are a few things you can do to help relieve the symptoms of a mosquito bite:
- Apply over the counter ointments and creams directly to the bite
- Clean the bite with soap and water to prevent infections
- Apply ice to temporarily relieve swelling and itching sensation
- If you experience headaches, fever or body aches, be sure to contact a medical professional immediately.
Most people have a minor reaction to a mosquito bite, but for some, the reaction may be severe. If you start to become nauseous, have chills or trouble breathing, it is important to contact a medical professional immediately.
Culex Mosquito Education
Common house mosquitoes are most commonly found in warm and wet environments. These hospitable conditions are ideal for these pests to find hosts to feed on, as well as lay their eggs. Culex mosquitoes hunt by detecting body heat and the carbon dioxide that humans exhale. However, only females suck human blood, while males feed on plant nectars. After feeding on a host, it can take several days for the female to digest the blood meal and then she will seek out a body of still water in which to lay eggs. Culex mosquitoes are able to breed in any form of stagnant water, including ponds, marshes, floodwaters, storm drains, old tires and water in tree holes. Females will lay eggs in “rafts” of as many as 300 on the water’s surface. Once the eggs hatch, the insects spend their larval stage submerged in water, feeding on particles of organic matter, microscopic organisms or plant material. It then develops into a pupa before finally emerging from the water as an adult. In warm weather, this developmental cycle takes about two weeks.
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Although mosquitoes are generally attracted to body heat and carbon dioxide, studies have shown that other factors such as blood type and the presence of naturally occurring bacteria on skin can make some people more appetizing to these blood-sucking pests than others. Additionally, dark colored clothing and perfume have been known to attract Culex mosquitoes.
Although mosquito bites typically result in just an itchy welt, Culex mosquitoes are known to transmit a number of diseases, including West Nile virus and several encephalitis diseases. Although most people do not show symptoms, West Nile virus can cause fatigue and fever There is no treatment for West Nile Virus, so prevention is the best way to stay safe from any and all mosquito-borne diseases.
Aside from the various mosquito-borne disease symptoms, common house mosquitoes are most commonly known for causing itchy bumps after biting. This bodily reaction to mosquito bites is caused by the mosquito’s saliva, which they inject into the skin in order to keep the blood from clotting while they feed. This anticoagulant allows mosquitoes to consume blood quickly before the host notices their presence.