While the pleasant year-round weather is one of the many perks of living on the Gulf Coast, any resident of or beautiful area can tell you those perks come with a price. Thanks to plenty of warmth and moisture, mosquito season on the Gulf Coast doesn’t have a clear beginning or endpoint. Whether you are visiting Biloxi, Mississippi, Pensacola Florida, or live in Mobile Alabama or Baton Rouge, Louisiana; you know that mosquitos are one of the Gulf Coast’s biggest nuisances.
Although January is normally the Gulf Coast coldest month, it is still relative knowing that moisture in conjunction with 50 degrees Fahrenheit temperature or higher is the threshold for mosquito activity.
What Are Some Common Gulf Coast Mosquito Species?
The Gulf Coast is home to about 80 known species of mosquitoes—more than any other Gulf Coast. Thirty-three of these species are known to cause problems for people and pets, and 13 of them can carry potentially serious diseases such as encephalitis or the West Nile or Zika viruses.
Some of the Gulf Coast’s most common mosquito species are Aedes albopictus and Psorophora ciliata. More commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito (or simply tiger mosquito) due to its black-and-white-striped body and legs, Aedes albopictus is native to Southeast Asia but has spread to many countries around the world, including the United States. This species is capable of carrying many viruses that can infect humans, such as yellow fever, dengue fever and Zika.
Native to the eastern United States, including the Gulf Coast, Psorophora ciliata is more commonly known as the gallinipper thanks to its aggressive behavior around both humans and animals. Larger than Asian tiger mosquitoes, gallinippers are known to have a painful bite. Though this species can carry pathogens such as encephalitis and West Nile virus, it hasn’t been proven to play a significant role in human infection of these diseases and therefore isn’t considered to be as much of a threat as certain other mosquito species.
How Are the Gulf Coast Mosquitoes Controlled?
Since mosquitoes can carry a variety of diseases and tourism is an important part of the Sunshine State’s economy, mosquito abatement is a major focus for most urban areas. Parks, including theme parks, and other urban or heavily trafficked areas tend to be regularly fogged or sprayed, while larvicide is used in standing water to control mosquito populations at the larval stage. Local governments often use products such as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), a naturally occurring larvicide, that have been deemed by the World Health Organization not to be harmful to humans, pets, environmentally sensitive areas or aquatic habitats.
The Good News About Mosquitoes on the Gulf Coast
Fortunately, the Gulf Coast has good news to report regarding its mosquito populations. In December 2016, the Center for Disease Control reported that there were more than 45 consecutive days with zero new cases of Zika transmission. This means the areas efforts to control its mosquito populations have been largely successful, which is great news for both residents and tourists. Still, public health officials note that problems from the disease could arise again if containment efforts are not continued.
Beebe's Pest and Termite Control Can Help With Your Mosquito Control Efforts
All of these mosquitoes can certainly take a toll on our ability to enjoy our home’s outdoor spaces. If you are ready to bring in the pest control experts to develop a mosquito control plan for your property, you can trust Beebe’s Pest and Termite Control to get the job done right. Our pest control experts can survey your property to determine your options and implement a treatment plan that works best for your needs. Whether it is a Mist Away System or a property inspection we have a solution that will work for your home or business.