Where Do Mosquitoes Lay Eggs?

Mosquitos, one of the most common yard pests, can quickly turn a nice weather fun time into a nice weather not-so-fun time due to those annoying and painful bites they like to inflict on anyone and everyone in your yard. While the lifespan of an adult female mosquito is relatively short—only a couple of months, during those couple of months, a female mosquito has the potential to lay up to 500 eggs. Multiply that number of eggs by all the mosquitos that can swarm your yard, and you’ve got a lot of mosquito eggs that can turn into more mosquitos, multiplying the mosquito problem exponentially.

Related: Learn more about a mosquito’s life cycle + when you should spray here 

Types of Mosquitoes in Massachusetts

There are eight types of mosquitos that are common to Massachusetts, and all eight species like to feed on human blood. And while you think you might be able to escape mosquito bites in spring or fall when the temperatures might not be so hot, you are wrong. The mosquitos most commonly found in Massachusetts mosquitos, of one species or another, are active in spring and fall and in all the months in between.

There really isn’t a “safe” time of day to avoid mosquito bites in Massachusetts either. While it’s commonly believed that mosquitoes are most active in the dusk and nighttime hours, at least one species is also active in the daytime. 

Here’s another “fun” mosquito fact: While most mosquito eggs hatch in 1-3 days depending on the temperature, researchers found that eggs left in moist environments can last for up to 12 months, and they can still hatch and continue on the life cycle after all those months of enjoying that moist environment.

Do Mosquitos in Massachusetts Carry Diseases?

Not only are mosquito bites painful and annoying, but mosquitoes carry diseases as well. If you’re wondering, “Do mosquitos in Massachusetts carry diseases?” The short answer is: YES!

While there are many different diseases stemming from mosquito bites throughout the world, in Massachusetts, the most common mosquito-spread diseases are West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. These illnesses can cause symptoms ranging from a mild fever to more serious diseases like meningitis or encephalitis, both of which can be life-threatening in extreme cases. For this reason, alone, preventing mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the first place becomes the priority in any yard pest prevention plan.

 

Where Do Mosquitoes Lay Eggs?

If a yard—or any part of a yard—isn’t maintained regularly, especially from spring to fall, that yard can be a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes since an untended yard often means not only standing water but vegetation overgrowth also. And any overgrowth can be an optimal environment for mosquito eggs to thrive. The key here is to make sure your yard is regularly maintained so overgrowth and standing water are kept to a minimum. Even if you keep up with your yard regularly, there are several places you may not even think of when it comes to mosquito breeding. Scroll down for more.

Standing Water: No matter the species of mosquito, they all have one thing in common when it comes to laying eggs: Water. So, what’s the best way to prevent a mosquito infestation in your yard? Go to that egg-laying source: Water. Namely, standing water. Let’s break down some common sources of standing water in your yard and what you can do to prevent mosquitos from ruining your outdoor fun.

Flowerpots: While water is needed to grow flowers, if too much water is used in a flowerpot, it results in standing water and the potential for mosquito eggs. Since mosquito eggs take very little standing water to thrive, even the tiniest bit of standing water can be a home to mosquito eggs. To prevent this, make sure you’re watering flowers only as much as needed and remove any water left in the pot or in the pot drainage tray.

Puddles: It seems like a no-brainer where mosquitos and standing water are concerned, but if you have areas in your yard—both in landscaping and on hardscaping—where puddles accumulate, it would be a good idea to address these areas to make sure any standing water is as minimal as possible. With landscaping, some extra fill dirt as well as a proper drainage plan can solve the problem, and with hardscaping, it might be best to fill in these areas permanently to prevent continuous standing water due to irrigation or rainstorms.

Bird Feeders: While it’s fun to watch birds play in the water in your bird feeder, if that water is allowed to go stagnant, it’s also a fun place for mosquitos to lay their eggs. Either change out the water regularly, or if the water isn’t being enjoyed by your neighborhood birds, remove it regularly, especially after any rainfall.

Empty Tires or Yard Debris: Empty tires can be fun play structures for kids (as well as awesome workout equipment!), but when left to collect water, empty tires can become prime structures for mosquito eggs if water is remaining after irrigation or a rainstorm. Yard debris can also be a favorable breeding ground for mosquitos as it’s often left for periods of time, during which it collects standing water.

Rainwater Barrels: Collecting rainwater to use for irrigation purposes can be earth-friendly as well as budget-friendly; however, when these barrels are not tightly sealed, mosquitos can get into them and lay their eggs. And since rainwater barrels are a consistent source of standing water, this can be problematic if the barrel isn’t properly maintained.

Gutters: Standing water in gutters can be a prime mosquito breeding ground since they’re more difficult to maintain due to their decreased accessibility. And since gutters are often placed on a home’s entire perimeter, there’s a lot of places for mosquitos to lay their eggs. In order to prevent this option for mosquito breeding, be sure and remove any leaves and other debris from gutters regularly and make sure gutters are maintained as well to avoid any mosquito issues.

 

Contact us for any of your mosquito concerns, whether it’s about preventative spraying or understanding how to best treat for mosquitos in your yard, as well as for any pest control questions in general. We’re here to put our expertise to work for you and your yard.

when to spray for ticks

When to spray for ticks: life cycle of ticks + treatment

Let’s talk about ticks: those tiny, hard-shelled bugs that can look like a freckle on your skin, which often makes them difficult to spot. And unlike other common yard insects that can jump or fly, you, anyone in your yard, and your pets have to come in direct contact with ticks for them to bite.

Ticks are most often found in wooded or grassy areas, and they like shady and damp environments best. While there are several types of ticks, one thing that they all have in common is that their diet consists solely of the blood from people, pets, deer, mice, birds, and reptiles. Anything with blood is a food source for ticks.

Ticks are definitely an issue here in Massachusetts:

  • There are two common species of ticks in Massachusetts: Deer Ticks and Dog Ticks. Dog Ticks are normally inactive in the winter months, although warmer than usual weather can bring them out earlier than expected. Deer Ticks can be active year-round—no matter how cold it gets.
  • Ticks can cause the spread of Lyme Disease, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Borrelia Miyamotoi, Anaplasmosis, and Powassan Virus.
  • Massachusetts is one of the 14 states where, according to the CDC, 95 percent of Lyme disease cases were reported in 2015.

So, how do you protect your yard, your pets, and anyone enjoying your yard from ticks? Maybe you’re wondering if spraying for ticks even works (spoiler alert: it does). Understanding the tick life cycle is essential to treating for them. Ticks typically go through four stages, and at each stage, they are actively seeking a host:

  • The Egg Stage
  • The Larva Stage
  • The Nymph Stage
  • The Adult Stage

When it comes to treating for ticks, it’s crucial to treat before it's time for ticks to seek a host and start feeding, because once they start feeding, they can potentially spread disease. Unfortunately, this can happen at different seasons of the year, so it’s important to treat your yard during each phase of the life cycle in order to stop them before they feed instead of just sporadically guessing when to treat. And unfortunately, treating for ticks only when you’re outside will not be enough to prevent tick bites and the associated diseases from those tick bites.

Let’s delve deeper into the four stages of the tick life cycle so you can better understand how to protect your home environment from these harmful pests.

 

Stage 1: The Egg Stage

The prime time for female ticks, who are nearing the end of their life span (2-3 years), to lay their eggs is in the spring, and one female tick can lay thousands of eggs, making it difficult to ever catch up prevention-wise once those eggs hit stage 2. Tick eggs are easier to spot than more mature ticks, as they are translucent and will either be brown or red. Ticks tend to lay their eggs in outdoor leaf brush, on top of warm soil that has a lot of animal activity (think of a trail where deer roam), and other warm, soft places. It’s a good idea that in addition to spraying your yard, you also maintain proper leaf clean-up and cut your lawn on a regular basis as these are very attractive locations for ticks.

How do you protect your yard from those female ticks who will be laying their eggs in the first place? Start by spraying once in late spring. The feeding and reproduction season for ticks is relatively short, and the sooner you can stop those ticks from laying thousands of eggs, the better. This is oftentimes, the first spray of the year, and it’s key to making sure your tick treatment is working accordingly.

 

Stage 2: Larva Stage

During the next stage of life, which occurs in late summer, the eggs hatch into larvae, and while at first, the larvae are disease-free, once they feed on an infected blood source, they then become bearers of tick-borne diseases.

It’s important to follow up spring tick treatment with late summer treatment to destroy any larva before they become disease carriers. Once ticks in this stage are full of blood from feeding, they begin the transition to the nymph stage. You may also want to spray during the early nymph stage to hopefully prevent any further feeding.

 

Stage 3: Nymph Stage

It’s probably becoming more clear as to why tick treatment is not a one-and-done solution. You want to make sure you’re treating at each stage of the cycle, including the nymph stage that takes you into the fall. Before moving into the adult stage, they can remain in the nymph stage until the spring, and some can even go dormant for a period of time.

It’s a common misconception that ticks aren’t active in the winter months, but since ticks can be active when the temperatures are above 37 degrees, it’s important to make sure that you don’t put your prevention procedure on hold once the colder weather hits. It’s important to always be ahead of the game where ticks and tick bite prevention are concerned.

 

Stage 4: Adult Stage

After becoming saturated with blood, the tick falls off its host and enters the final stage—the adult stage. This usually also happens in the fall. Depending on factors such as the weather, they will either then nest for a period of time or start mating. After mating with 1-2 females, male ticks will die, and the females will go on to lay thousands of eggs before ending their life cycle. As with the previous life cycle stages, prevention is needed during this stage also, as ticks are still actively seeking hosts for feeding.

 

Tick Prevention

When it comes to tick prevention, the EcoMosquito approach is different. Training is a key part of our company. Our technicians take their time at your property and don’t rush through the motions. They will thoroughly inspect for mosquito and tick breeding and resting sites in order to target the areas of your yard that really need attention. This, in itself, is more important than barrier treatments themselves. Since ticks can be so dangerous for both you and your pets, it’s crucial to have experts on your side who understand all the stages of a tick’s life cycle so you and your landscape can be protected year-round. Contact us for more information on how we can help you protect you and those you love.

prevent mosquito bites

What natural oils should be used to prevent mosquito bites?

Oil of lemon eucalyptus has been found to provide as much protection as low concentrations of DEET when tested against mosquitoes found in the United States. It lasts for about 3 hours or more, depending on how much you sweat and weather conditions.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under the age of three years.