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[00:00:02] Hey welcome back. Welcome back to another edition of the pestgeek podcast. I am your host Frank Hernandez and we’re gonna be discussing culex mosquitoes. That’s right. It’s mosquito season soon as those temperatures rise above 70 degrees they start coming out and they start populating and we’re going to be covering culex mosquitoes today and culex mosquitoes are probably the most prevalent in the U.S. they’re around the world there’s about a thousand species of culex mosquitoes in the U.S. We get about 12 of them about a dozen in Florida alone. We have nine out of the twelve available in the U.S. So it is one of the big problematic mosquitoes here that we have to deal with. And Culex is known as the common house mosquito. OK It is common in the U.S. because there is at least one type of collect mosquito found in every state.
[00:01:04] You know it has a metamorphosis of egg larva pupa and adult it doesn’t have. It does have a complete metamorphosis. egg larva pupa and adult They usually feed at night. Typically it’s gonna be a night feeding mosquito so if you’ve got a customer saying they’re getting bitten in the afternoon they’re getting bit in the morning. Most likely they don’t have culex mosquitoes. They could have aedes maybe anopheles but not culex mosquitoes.
They also the pregnant or gravid females take flight at night especially right at about Twilight. So whenever that sun starts to Crescent out and over the horizon it’s pretty much gone. And that twilight period is when they start to go out and look for places to oviposition their eggs and bite so that they’re going to spend most of the night doing that you know finding places to lay their eggs in that’s what they’re doing there.
They prefer the tropics. So they’re very very common in the tropics. Like I said Florida has a 9 out of the of the 12 culex species in the US that are most common.
They survive overwintering in the north by hibernating. I mean you can have them pretty much if we had like the last you know 5 7 years where we temperatures never dropped below the 60s. This year we’ve had a couple of drops into the 50s but pretty much the temperature started going out about 75 and 85 degrees and you’re going to have them breeding.
[00:02:50] Culex mosquitoes like to hide during the day in sheltered areas. You know there’s boxes outside you know things that they can you know hide in. That’s what they’re going to do.
They believe it or not they prefer to bite birds and livestock than people. But when the populations become really heavy they’re gonna bite people. And that’s how we get the transmission of diseases is by them biting birds that have infections and then becoming a vector and transmitting it to us.
culex mosquitoes life cycle
The the the entire lifecycle of this mosquito on average no matter which species you’re looking about 10 to 14 days you know from egg larva to pupa an adult you’re looking at you know 5 7 10 days they don’t live that long. And so you’re you know you’re looking at an entire cycle of two weeks.
culex mosquito disease
They’re transmitters of West Nile virus, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, and Western equine encephalitis virus. They’re also vectors for dog heartworm. They are good flyers.
culex mosquito flight
They fly long distances Believe it or not compared to aedes. They’re talking about three quarters of a mile to over a mile and a half of culex mosquitoes will fly from their zone so you’re trying to control a problem that the source might be a mile and a half away and you’re trying to figure out.
culex mosquito habitat
[00:04:17] I just had a call this week. I posted it on my personal page. Customer calls me says you know I’ve got a franchise here. They’re doing my mosquito. You know they stink. You know I fired them I want to know what you’re gonna spray that’s much stronger because you know they can’t control the mosquitoes. I’ve had then you know he tells me I’ve had mosquito control out here. And what I have is the Asian tiger mosquito which is you know the aedes albopictus.
Well I said you know the chances are they’re spraying and you got all these people out there already you have all this information. Something isn’t adding up. So I go and I say OK I pull the property info. I look at that property on a map. The guy is surrounded by manmade lakes. You know one of them is so small it looks like a drainage ditch. You know the mosquitoes are breeding all around him on every corner he’s on a corner lot across the street there’s a manmade lake across the other street on the other side there’s like seven little manmade lakes and across the street on the left side there’s a huge manmade lake.
[00:05:24] And he wants to get with with a misting service every three to four weeks you know not going to get control. He needs to go to a misting system. You know that sometimes you know misting isn’t gonna be right for every client is spraying barrier services are not going to be right for every client. He’s got a property that’s pretty clean nothing around it there’s no drains but he’s got all these lakes around him they’re manmade and they’re breeding there. So there’s not a whole lot. I mean he’s literally across the street if you got a one and a half miles the studies are showing you know they they can go up to three kilometers or like one point eight six miles almost two miles from where they’re breeding so the source might not be at your customer site. I mean you got a customer that has nothing but lawn you can spray for mist for mosquitoes. All they got his lawn. You’re not going to get any control for that client. The client thinks that we because we sprayed mosquitoes don’t breed in lawns. It’s not common unless you know like this. This particular mosquito especially in areas where they have drains like you know.
[00:07:08] You know they like depositing their eggs in all types of water sources. This is what makes it a very difficult mosquito to control. We’re talking about in sewage systems. OK. There’s an open sewage system. They’re going to breed in there. They’re going to deposit their eggs. Especially if it’s mixed with rainwater. The catch basins waste tires buckets rain barrels. Even water treatment wastewater treatment sites they’re going to be breeding there. You got a drainage system where you have on the side of the highway.
You know you’ve got roadside ditches and all of a sudden you get a bunch of rain and it doesn’t drain for 10 or 14 days. And that soil is still moist. That’s enough time for them to deposit the eggs for them to breed especially like in on surfaces where there’s organic matter so they can you know if it rains in a wide open area and that area floods and that that soil stays moist they can they can hatch in that moist soil as long as it’s you know 10 to 14 days of that being wet they’ll breed there.
culex mosquito control measures
So I got clients that live in back of i 95 or the turnpike and you know when it rains that whole area of floods for weeks and we’re spraying their property where the mosquitoes are coming from their property they’re coming across the street from that you know from that water just sitting there and they’re getting mosquitoes and they’re complaining that we spray and they got mosquitoes. You know this is done reality of what we need to educate our clients on because what’s going on is you’ve got a bunch of sales people going out there selling contract for mosquito control that they’re not going to be able to get to control and the customers are calling me constantly and you know I bought it from this franchise I bought it from this natural brand and you know when you got sales people on their own commission and they need to sell contracts.
[00:09:15] I mean that’s the reality of the industry. They need to sell contracts and you know they’re calling us and I’m like No we’re not going to take you on as a client the reality is you’re probably going to need it if you’re in that situation you’re going to need a mosquito misting system that missed three to four times a day to keep that mosquito population down. And you’re still going to have to cover up and you’re still going to have to wear repellent. It isn’t something that’s instant when we’re dealing with a mosquito that can breed pretty much anywhere. I mean you’re talking about in rice fields marshes swamps. This thing will breed in saltwater. It will produce brackish water it will breed in fresh water. You know we’ve got the eggs. They do them in rafts. So 250 to 300 eggs will generally hash in two to three days. That’s the typical of of an aedesd mosquito. So the water all of the sudden people like know it. We know it hasn’t been raining a lot at rain 15 days ago and it hasn’t rained since and that water is still there.
[00:10:21] People don’t understand this. And customers this is our job to educate our customers to help understand.
Listen you can’t do a once a month everywhere and it’s not going to work for you year here in Florida. The reality is we sell mosquito on a bi weekly basis if it’s synthetic if it’s natural 100 percent natural we’re like five days weekly to get it under control. And we’ve got other things we’re using IGR’s and we’re using synergists, and we’re using encapsulated micro encapsulated products and we’re using surfactant. So we sell an ultra premium service to our client when we have to add all those products and the biggest mistake I see in the industry when it comes to mosquito control is that people don’t want to put the money especially technicians companies for IGR’s. It is vital that you use an IGR for mosquito control you can’t just use bifentrin a lot of guys are getting away with you know 68 cents bifentrin and spraying yards and saying I don’t know why I’m not getting control. The reason is you’re not controlling the larvae. You need to control the larvae you need to have something out there that controls that larvae not the adult mosquito. the adult mosquito is secondary. And yes a bifentrin could have an IGR effect on surface waters of plants you know you’ve got plants that hold water or places that hold water you know you’re gonna have seven days tops with bifenthrin that has some insect growth regulator abilities you know it can destroy the eggs and the larvae in there put seven days that’s it.
[00:12:00] So you need to add insect growth regulators to your mix to get the long term control you can’t. cheap out and the customers will pay for what the customers need to understand. If they want to control there’s a cost to that control and we can’t put the bill. I mean it’s just a reality there.
You’ve got to add the products that are make it a quality service. I can sell we’re selling a super premium service to our clients and we’re getting that’s that 14 to 21 days and I go to clients and I say look let’s do an application. I’m going to be back here at night during the day in 14 days. We’ll see what kind of control we got. And all of a sudden it starts to decline after that and they’re calling me at the middle between of two to three weeks. Yeah. We just started getting the bites at last two weeks two and a half three weeks you know. And you know so then we design that program. Okay. You’re gonna have to be an in your area to get the control you’re going to have to be a two weeks in your area you’re gonna be at three weeks you might get away with it over in the winter once a month in the winter. We got we’re spraying once a month in the winter a lot of properties.
[00:13:03] I got properties that are are near the water they’re waterfront property near the ocean we’re spraying every 14 days around year round we’re not getting a break because we got so many different species of mosquitoes and we have the conditions these subtropical conditions tropical conditions sometimes that these mosquitoes like.
Culex pipiens distribution in the us
So you know we’re looking at a species found you know the most common are culex pipens and Culex quinquefasciatus or fascinate us. That is the most common in the U.S. that is is going you know we also have tarsalis restuans nigripalpus salinarius and erraticus.
[00:13:55] In California stigmatosoma. Yep. And here Florida we got biscaynensis pilosus and territans and declarator. So those are the twelve most common but the one that’s really really really really really a problem. The two is quinquefasciatus culex pipens. The two of those are the ones that are covering most of the United States especially in the south.
[00:14:32] The the quinquefasciatus is the most common along all the way you know as far as Virginia all the way across to California covering all of Texas that that covers pretty much all of the southern United States and then north of that I think about thirty nine degrees if I’m not mistaken between thirty six and thirty nine degrees. Then you got cuklex pipens and that is the two most common mosquitoes.
[00:15:06] Now the problem with these is one is known as the Southern house mosquito and then the other one is known as the Northern house mosquito. And what happens in between the north and the South is we get what is known as the cool experience complex. We get a hybrid molestus so you know that is been found as far south as Louisiana.
[00:15:33] And as far north as Chicago. With this with this hybrid because they deal with culex pipens and cool and culex quinquefasciatus is that. They they they they can breed together and they get a hybrid. So those two can interbreed without a problem. And that is a major major problem of controlling culex. Other other mosquitoes that are popular the eradicates erraticus . Is this mostly found in southeastern southern part of the United States. They’ve been found in rice fields in Arkansas. culex culex nigripalpus. That one is found in Florida. Alabama South Carolina North Carolina Mississippi southwest Texas mostly the southeastern part of the US. stigmatosoma is common in California. And on the Pacific Coast then we got Culex tarsalis, Cx. pipiens pipiens, Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, Cx. stigmatosoma, Cx. Erythrothorax.
[00:16:56] And then you got culex salinarius and they live both near the Atlantic and the Gulf Coast. They can survive. They love to breed in saltwater. You got brackish water saltwater marshes roadside ditches in intact and what are known as Cattail boggs in plants.
[00:17:17] So any plant that holds water is susceptible to mosquitoes especially aedes and Culex tarsalis .
[00:17:31] You know Mississippi. It’s found on the east part to all of these are problems with like equine encephalitis with horses getting that and they’re starting to get vaccines for those now heartworm on your pets is a big problem. So people need to you know protect the pet from heartworm because they can you know a lot of the culex mosquito likes to bite animals. So horses cows you know they get birds and this is how they’re transmitting a lot of these diseases in to become the vectors. So I’ve got a lot of notes.
[00:18:11] Also by the way on this good links to good material good government source materials NIH source you can go ahead and get all those links at the Web site you go to the page for this podcast. So guys. Hey look it’s been real. I hope you guys have enjoyed the series on mosquitoes. and I wish you a pestasecular day.