Adult mosquitoes are delicate flies with long, spindly appendages and two slender wings that are covered in tiny scales. Their bodies can range from 0.15 to 0.4 inches in length and vary in color by species. Female mosquitoes have a long, needle-like proboscis with mouthparts, which they use to pierce skin and suck blood. Although over 50 mosquito species can be found in California, the three genera that concern us are Culex, Aedes, and Anopheles.
Mosquitoes can carry and transmit many disease pathogens, including Chikungaya, dengue, eastern equine and Japanese encephalitis, malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and Zika. The adult female mosquito must find a blood meal from a vertebrate animal to obtain a protein required to produce its eggs, which is why it is driven to bite humans; the adult male feeds on plant juices, and does not bite. Adult mosquitoes are not strong flyers, and will find foliage and shady areas where they can rest.
Because water is home to the first three of a mosquito’s four life stages – egg, larva, pupa – effective control depends upon eliminating sources of standing water, only a small amount of which is needed for mosquito eggs to hatch and grow into airborne adults. Public mosquito and vector control agencies monitor and treat for mosquitoes in waterways, catch basins, and areas accessible to the public, but private property is often outside those agencies’ range of influence. This is why Clark created our mosquito control service to provide an extra level of protection for our customers by removing and treating breeding sites, installing and servicing a mosquito defense station, and treating areas where mosquitoes rest.