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Mosquitos in Northeastern North Carolina

Mosquito ControlAlmost everyone has had the unpleasant experience of being bitten by a mosquito in North Carolina. Mosquito bites can cause skin irritation through an allergic reaction to the mosquito's saliva - this is what causes the red bump and itching. But a more serious consequence of some mosquito bites may be transmission of certain serious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and several forms of encephalitis, including West Nile virus.

Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, but they also can transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to. These include dog heart worms, eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus.

There are about 200 different species of mosquitoes in the United States, all of which live in specific habitats, exhibit unique behaviors and bite different types of animals. Despite these differences, all mosquitoes share some common traits, such as a four-stage life cycle.

Different species of mosquitoes prefer different types of standing water in which to lay their eggs. The presence of beneficial predators such as fish and dragonfly nymphs in permanent ponds, lakes and streams usually keep these bodies of water relatively free of mosquito larvae. However, portions of marshes, swamps, clogged ditches and temporary pools and puddles are all prolific mosquito breeding sites. Other sites in which some species lay their eggs include:

Some of the most annoying and potentially dangerous mosquito species, such as the Asian tiger mosquito, come from these sites.

Mosquito Life Cycle

Mosquito Life CycleKnowing the different stages of the mosquito's life will help you prevent mosquitoes around your home and also help you choose the right pesticides for your needs, if you decide to use them. All mosquito species go through four distinct stages during their life cycle:

The first three stages occur in water, but the adult is an active flying insect. Only the female mosquito bites and feeds on the blood of humans or other animals.

The adult mosquito emerges onto the water's surface and flies away, ready to begin its lifecycle.

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