Mosquito biting skin

Mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes

No one likes the idea of being bitten by mosquitoes, midges or gnats. Yet climate conditions, especially in southern England are becoming increasingly more hospitable to mosquitoes. Bites are irritating and although not as painful as being stung, mosquito bites are very itchy causing a lot of discomfort.

There are more than 30 native mosquito species in the UK, some of which bite (such as Culex molestus) and others like Culex pipiens that are just a general nuisance and do not carry disease. There is however an invasive species - The Asian Tiger mosquito, which has progressed northwards, up through southern Europe since the 1970’s. Asian Tiger mosquito eggs and larvae have been discovered in two sites in the UK in recent years, but it is not yet established in the UK.

The Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is known to transmit the viruses Chikungunya and Dengue Fever. Although there is no immediate danger in the UK, the BPCA (British Pest Control Association) recommends vigilance. Rentokil have over 90 years of experience in protecting homes and businesses from pests in the UK, and are experts in controlling vector-borne diseases around the world.

Mosquito checklist

When you reduce the opportunities of being bitten by mosquitoes, you greatly reduce the chances of irritation from mosquito bites, possible allergic reactions and secondary infections from scratching. Below are some simple tips:

  • Indoor mosquito control: limit the opportunities for mosquitos to breed, by removing stagnant / standing water in plant pots, vases etc… and install insect screens to windows and doors.
  • Outdoor mosquito control: check areas such as guttering for blockages that could leave pools of stagnant water or dregs in watering cans, over watered plant pots, outside pet water bowls, even paddling pools and drain away the standing water, cover water butts with tight fitting lids to prevent mosquito larvae, if you have a pond try adding goldfish who will eat the mosquito larvae.

Mosquitoes in the UK

  • What time of year do mosquitoes come out in the UK? - They prefer warm, yet damp conditions so with the UK's variable weather mosquitoes can be prevalent from warm spring showers in April through to damp, but mild conditions in October.

  • What time of day do mosquitoes bite? - Mosquito activity varies between species, but most in the UK will search for a blood feed at dawn and at dusk (twilight) in line with their internal body clock.

  • Why are mosquitoes attracted to me? - There are a variety of factors that attract mosquitoes - high contrast colours attract them, as their compounded eyes are fragmented so less focused, only seeing their prey from about 20 – 30 feet away. Mosquitoes also use thermal sensors to detect and hone in on body heat. The greatest attractant for mosquitoes is our odour; a female mosquito can smell body odour and exhaled carbon dioxide from up to 170 feet away.

  • Where and when do mosquitoes breed in the UK? - Mosquitoes are usually active in the UK for six to seven months of the year. They will often start to breed in April if conditions are warm and wet enough, potentially through to late September. Female mosquitoes can lay up to 200 eggs at a time, but need areas of standing / stagnant or slow moving water in which to lay their eggs.

  • How and where can you spot mosquito eggs? - Mosquito eggs are small and black – looking like small pumpkin seeds. They can be spotted in small batches, floating at the edge of ponds, water butts (without lids), garden pots and containers, or even pet water bowls.

How will a mosquito infestation affect your business?

  • Trust – impact on employee trust
  • Damage – to your business reputation if customers and staff are being bitten
  • Cost – potential cost implications from loss of business from negatives reviews

With over 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide, wherever your business operates you will encounter mosquitoes. Whether they are disease carrying or nuisance biting mosquitoes, you need to mitigate the risk of any infestation swiftly to protect your employees, customers and your business reputation.

Rentokil provide safe, reliable and effective insect control from highly trained specialists. Our expertise lies in developing a customised integrated insect control programme to protect your business premise and reputation from biting insects (including mosquitoes).

Mosquito DIY Products

We have a range of DIY products to help with controlling mosquitoes and midges or gnats. These are very effective if you have a small infestation. However, if your problem won’t go away, you’ll need professional advice. Our BPCA (British Pest Control Association) certified technicians are experts in the habits of gnats and mosquitoes. They can provide the best treatment for your particular problem as well as advice on how to keep these insects at bay.