The State of Florida is characterized by generally poor drainage. Muck, marl and other soils perpetually saturated or subject to flooding make up nearly half of the total land area of the state. These vast areas of wetlands, together with thousands of grassy lake margins, constitute an enormous potential area for mosquito breeding. The primary pest mosquitoes in Florida are the salt marsh species. These species produce large numbers all around the coast of Florida.
The life cycle of a mosquito starts as eggs deposited on damp soil where ground vegetation is thick. As rain or tidal floods reach these areas the eggs will hatch and become larvae. In these tidal pools or temporary water holdings, the larvae wait to become a pupae. The length of time passed between these stages depends on temperature and food availability. In the adult stage the female mosquito needs blood to produce eggs, whereas, the male doesn’t require a blood meal and feed on nectar. The adult rests for at least 6 to 8 hours during the day. The resting areas consist of damp shaded areas.
Ways to Reduce the Population of Mosquitoes
Perimeter Treatments: Since mosquitoes lay to rest during the day in damp shaded areas, this is where they are vulnerable. Treatments to shrubs, under trees, perimeters around a structure, porches, lanai, eaves and windows are effective in reducing the population.
Larvicide: Affects the larval stage of the mosquito. In this stage the larvae swims up and down in the tidal pools or holding water. This action is performed to feed as well as breathe. The larvae will submerge to feed on organisms and surface. The larvicide leaves a layer on the surface of the water so the larvae can’t breathe. These larvicides are placed in temporary water holdings such as bird baths, flower pots, tree holes, ditches, etc…