Frequently asked questions

Is there just one type of mosquito in Minnesota?
Sadly no. Out of the roughly 200 species found in North America, 50 of them call “the land of 10,000 lakes” home sweet home.

Do male mosquitoes bite?
Fortunately no. Only females do since they require blood for their egg production. Sometimes nature is just cruel.

How do mosquitoes find their hosts?
Mosquitoes are attracted to movement and have thermal-detection receptors on their antennae that detect radiation emitted by warm bodies. They are also attracted to carbon dioxide, lactic acid and other chemical signals from 82 to 115 feet away. So if you just stand perfectly still in a bucket of cold water and hold your breath, mosquitoes will have a much harder time finding you.

How long do mosquitoes live?
After hatching, males live only about a week, while the biters — females — can live up to two months. Sad fact.

How do you tell the difference between male and female mosquitoes?
Males are smaller, have fluffy antennae and no proboscis for extracting blood since they just drink the sugary goodness of flowers and plants. You’re more likely to see females since they land on you and pierce your skin with their proboscis to take some of your blood. And if you should see what looks like a giant-sized monster of a mosquito that looks as though it could carry you away, don’t fret; that’s actually a crane fly, not a mosquito. It won’t hurt you. It just looks scary.

What makes mosquitoes buzz?
Well, according to the classic West African folk tale “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears,” they do it because a mosquito told an iguana a lie that set off a chain of chaos through the jungle resulting in the mosquito becoming ostracized and thus causing the mosquito to buzz around people’s ears asking if everyone was still angry with her. But the real reason is that their rapidly beating wings produce a high-pitched whine. Not as interesting as the folk tale.

Do bats and bat houses help in controlling the mosquito population?
Not like you’d think. Studies have found that, contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes make up less than 0.7% of a bat’s diet. Turns out bats find locating and eating bigger insects like beetles and moths more satisfying than puny mosquitoes. And well, as far as bat houses, since we’ve discovered that bats don’t actually eat a lot of mosquitoes, but we do know they are highly susceptible to contracting rabies, it’s probably not a great idea to provide them a cute little home in your back yard. Bats are good; they just don’t need to live directly in your yard.

How well do bug zappers work on mosquitoes?
Not well at all really. In a study of insects zapped in a five-day period, only 6.4% were mosquitoes. And of that amount, less than half were the blood-sucking, disease-spreading females. Although, taking out a few male mosquitoes doesn’t hurt since they do have their part in propagating the species.

Are those misting systems a safe way to control mosquitoes?
No, they’re not. The American Mosquito Control Association does not recommend them because of the potential environmental danger they pose. Since they are automated and systematically mist pesticide into the air without regulation, monitoring or control by licensed pesticide applicators, these systems pose serious problems: unnecessary pesticide applications, over-application which could lead to pest resistance, and air drift which would have tremendous harmful affects on non-target species that would come in contact with the pesticide outside of your yard.

Do mosquito magnets actually work?
The jury is still out on their actual effectiveness. They are designed to attract, trap and destroy mosquitoes, but studies have shown that while they do attract mosquitoes into your yard, they have produced minor success in actual control of the population. The concern becomes that if these devices attract mosquitoes, then they may actually contribute to a vast increase in your mosquito population, rather than a decrease. Because your goal is to not have any mosquitoes at all, you’re better off staying away from this method.

Do you also do larval mosquito control?
No. We only do adult mosquito control. Please review our PREVENTION TIPS section for ways you can control mosquito development around your yard in addition to our adult mosquito control application. Together we can control the invasion of mosquitoes through both our efforts.

Do you ever use a fogging method?
Our principal — and preferred — method is carefully regulated, controlled, localized spraying in the harborage areas where mosquitoes rest and land. We feel this is the safest method for you and the environment. However, if the timing requires an immediate control, we will, on those rare occasions, use a quick fogging method to kill mosquitoes in the air initially; then we will do our standard localized spray application around the yard to provide you with proper mosquito control.

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