Monsoon rains can bring out a variety of critters, from noisy cicadas to large tarantulas, palo verde borers to crane flies. Thanks to the standing water that monsoon rains can create, mosquitos increase during this season as well.
While you might think that they are a small nuisance here in the Phoenix area compared to other more humid parts of the country, Phoenix is actually one of the worst cities in the country when it comes to mosquitoes, ranked by Orkin at 11th worst.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the diseases that mosquitos help to spread as well as some ways to prevent mosquitoes on your property.
Why should I be concerned about mosquitoes in Phoenix?
The buzzing of mosquitoes can quickly put a damper on many outdoor events and dealing with itchy mosquito bites after time outdoors is a common annoyance.
However, mosquitoes are not just a pesky insect but a common distributor of diseases. They have often been described as “the most dangerous animal on the planet,” responsible for infecting over 2.5 million people worldwide every year.
Cases of West Nile Virus keep increasing in Maricopa County, breaking records for the number of cases and deaths year after year.
Other diseases that mosquitoes are known to carry include:
- Zika virus
- Yellow fever
- Eastern equine encephalitis
- St. Louis encephalitis
While malaria is not often fatal in the U.S., any of these diseases can become dangerous for both adults and children.
According to their website, Maricopa County has seen increasing cases of not only West Nile Virut but also St. Louis Encephalitis, sometimes known as sleeping sickness.
Longer Breeding Season
One of the reasons for the increase in mosquitoes in general and mosquito-borne diseases in particular may be because we enjoy warmer weather year-round. While colder climates will see a decrease of mosquito populations during the winter months, mosquitoes can live and reproduce year-round in our climate.
Crane Flies are not Giant Mosquitoes
Another insect that emerges after monsoon rains looks like a large mosquito but is not. This mosquito-like insect with long legs is called a crane fly, and it poses no risks or health issues. They are attracted to light (such as porch lights or lights from inside your house), so you may find that a few may enter your house and fly around in a haphazard manner.
While crane flies can be annoying, the adults only live for about two weeks and do not bite or otherwise impact humans.
How to protect yourself from mosquitoes
- Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves if you think you will be in an area with mosquitoes.
- Use mosquito repellent, preferably one that is EPA-registered
- Consider using citronella candles or a repellent device when you are outdoors
- Make sure your window and door screens are installed correctly and repair any tears to prevent mosquitos from coming indoors
How to prevent mosquitos from breeding on your property
- Dump out any standing water from flowerpots, lawn decorations, trash bins, or anything else that may have as little as a soda bottle cap full of water. View this handout from the Arizona Department of Health Services on common mosquito breeding sites you may have on your property.
- Rinse out or even scrub these items if possible – mosquito eggs can still stick to places where the water has been removed and can hatch the next time there is enough water.
- Contact Titan Pest Control for information on our INZECTO Mosquito Traps. We can place the traps and you keep them filled with water.
- For water that can’t be dumped and is not used as drinking water, consider treating it with a larvicide such as Mosquito Dunks
Take Mosquitoes Seriously
These buzzing, annoying creatures can cause serious health problems in our community. Most of the viruses that are spread by mosquitoes do not have a cure, so preventing mosquitoes and mosquito bites is your best method of prevention.
Contact Titan Tree or Titan Pest if you have any questions about mosquitoes on your property or if you would like to learn more about the INZECTO Mosquito Traps. The more that you do to prevent mosquito breeding, the fewer mosquitoes you should see on your property.