[00:00:03] Hey welcome back to this edition of the pest geek podcast. I am your host Frank Hernandez and we’re going to be discussing and Anopheles mosquitoes on this edition. So the Anopheles mosquito is a very common mosquito in the U.S. there’s several species of them in the U.S. basically they almost divide the country in about half. One we have the western mosquito the Anopheles mosquito. And then we have the eastern Anopheles mosquito. Those are the basic two that we have in the country
Now the word Anopheles in the Greek it means useless. And so the Anopheles mosquito is basically a useless small fly. So we haven’t found a use for it yet but then we have about it around the world about 430 species of Anopheles mosquitoes. OK. And we’ve got about a half a dozen here in the U.S. and the like you know like all mosquitoes in this case you can really say all I believe nobody is going to find an exception. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/aquatic/Anopheles_quadrimaculatus.htm
The the the mosquito is it since it’s an insect. And it is a fly it is a true fly. It belongs to the order of diptera.
You’re gonna have a three section body head thorax and an abdomen and you’re going to have three pairs of legs basically six legs and two wings attached to the thorax. Now the the Anopheline or the Anopheles it’s different than other mosquitoes. Is that it lacks an air tube and hangs basically parallel to the surface water. So if it dives for food it eventually has to come up for air.
[00:02:06] Okay. And that’s what the why its an Anopheline or an Anopheles mosquito it is known as the the malaria mosquito because of the. It is an important vector of malaria around the world in the U.S. there’s about fifteen hundred cases annually reported to the CDC. But most of those were actually contracted outside of the U.S. but it’s still a major epidemic around the world.
You know people coming down with malaria all over the world the most the most common Anopheles in the eastern United States is the quadrimaculatus sensu lato is the most common one and in the end if you take the country and you go like half of Texas and you start at the bottom about half of Texas and you draw a line straight up basically everything east of there is Anopheles. And if you take right at the end of Texas probably where Arizona is and you draw a line straight up from there and you go west you’re going to have the the the other Anopheles wich is freeborni which is known as the Western malaria mosquito which is found all Western Canada and the United States. So you know no matter where you are in the world you’re pretty much going to have a mosquito problem. Now out of the four hundred and thirty Anopheles species 30 to 40 are known to transmit malaria or malaria I’m sorry. Now this mosquito doesn’t feed only on humans it does large mammals.
[00:04:04] So horses cows goats rabbits and dogs are subject to getting bitten by the Anopheles mosquito. OK. So it’s not just a human mosquito. Now there are another mosquito in the U.S. which is lesser known the of the Anopheles species which is is Anopheles punctipennis. That is right. You in the spelling is correct. And there’s also it’s also under another name of. I believe anopheles pseudopunctipennis which is in the US also. OK. And you’re going to find that one along the lower united states mostly coastal South America Central America Mexico that’s where it tends to to be more active. Now they’re also since they are a vector of malaria. They’re also known to be a vector or capable of spreading the Mayaro virus which isn’t a big deal in the US yet but it has been found in the Caribbean islands I believe. Puerto Rico is one of those two that have been found. It is also a vector of the West Nile virus. OK. And and it has been found I believe in about six other species in the U.S. I have a link to it where you can get all the species of all the viruses on the blog post. OK. So you go there there’s a link to all the mosquitoes in the U.S. that have contracted or transmit the West Nile virus. OK. So that is what Anopheles as far as diseases goes in in the U.S..
Anopheles Breeding Habitats
[00:06:00] And another. Let’s get into the breeding habits because the breeding habits of Anopheles is completely different than with culex mosquitoes and there’s a couple of new products on the market. The ovi catch by catchmaster and in2care. The problem with these are is not a problem. The problem is with selling them as a mosquito solution when it only works for I’m sorry not not not not the culex but the aedes Aegypti OK. And they don’t work for four for Anopheles mosquitoes. So because Anopheles mosquitoes prefer clean unpolluted waters while you know culex and aedes will like stagnant water or polluted water. All right so you’re putting these out to customers. Is is is has mosquito you want a service them but you don’t know which mosquito they have. Well you know are they. You know one of the simple things that you can ask a client and the client should be able to answer is are you getting bitten at night even late at night when you’re out there are you getting bitten during the day. See if the customer is in being bitten during the day. The chances of them having aedes aegypti is going to be almost nil if they’re getting bit most early morning. Most likely it’s culex because they’ve got these habits.
[00:07:46] So understanding that and understanding what you’re going to sell the client as a solution because a client may be you know freaked out about aedes. But if the client leaves their home and walks around the neighborhood and there’s aedes mosquito it’s going to produce absolutely no care for them. You can’t stop them from getting bitten. They have to cover up if there’s they’re going into areas where there’s aedes aegypti. And if they’re pregnant to cover up and use mosquito repellent there is no such thing as an inoculating the client as I know I’m afraid of Zika because you know my wife is pregnant but they’re going out everywhere and they live in an area where you know aedes aegypti is common what with the with the Anopheles mosquitoes it doesn’t happen the same way.
[00:08:36] They like to deposit their eggs in fresh or saltwater marshes mangrove swamps rice fields grassy ditches the edges of streams and rivers and small and temporary rain pools and this is a problem in areas that flood with Anopheles. And we’re going to find out why it’s so difficult to control them or to figure it out even in areas where you’re going in and saying there is no stagnant water here. There isn’t a lake for half a mile and this is why it’s so difficult that people need to know especially PMP is pest control professional technicians. You need to know exactly what you have because selling a misting service or seeing a spray service by itself with an insecticide alone is not solving your problems especially when we get the difficult cases so the the the female deposits eggs individually they don’t do them in rafts like other mosquitoes. The eggs are unique in that these eggs can float so they can be deposited in one area and float down a river a couple of miles in a couple of days or even several hundred miles depending on how that river is the eggs of Anopheles. Most of them can not survive drying or desiccation so most of them will hatch between two to three days after all oviposition they’re adapted to survive these environments and this is why they can thrive in the environment they find themselves in because even if it rains and you have standing water for several days they can hatch OK.
[00:10:43] In the case of the the the Anopheless Anopheles quadrimaculatus these guys specifically cannot survive desiccation now unlike Anopheles diluvialis.
[00:11:00] They have adapted to flood water conditions and eggs can survive up to 28 days after Flight now there’s a there’s a species of Anopheles quadrimaculatus complex 1 which they can temporarily and they can survive in damp soil and there’s a study by Jenson Kaiser and Bernard which I have a link to it. You can read it. This particular species have have been survived on moist paper. Twenty eight days OK. So so that is the the issue that it isn’t a blanket statement on several species.
[00:12:02] You can’t make a blanket statement that they always behave this way because they don’t in Guana. They found that in rural versus urban areas.
[00:12:15] And if you are most people live in an urban area now and in the U.S. areas created or poor or what you call this habitats that are permanent now made in cities they accounted for 34 percent that are temporary. Well in these temporary they found 51 percent of Anopheles mosquitoes were sampled so creating temporary habitat. Now going to permanent habitat that you create human made I mean in Miami everybody wants to live oceanfront. So the making of artificial lakes which really aren’t lakes if you’re in the northeast you would laugh at our lakes what we call a lake here which is mostly a pond.
[00:13:08] Most of you would say that’s not a pond that’s a drainage ditch but we create these habitats.
[00:13:15] And now we’re creating more sites and more sites and hundreds of these lakes in these communities these HOA ways that will have these lakes and have to create homes around them because people want to live on ocean front because they live in Miami.
[00:13:30] So the creation of man made habitats are creating a problem which are allowing mosquitoes now to breed.
[00:13:41] So these have to be managed through Aquatics and treating these lakes now with IGR to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there.
Anopheles Mosquito Life Cycle
[00:13:52] Let’s look let’s look at the let’s look at the lifecycle. All right. So they basically go through four life cycles. All right. Egg larvae pupa an adult and the first three stages of life are aquatic. So the egg larva pupae are they live in the water. This can last from egg larvae to pupae about five to 14 days and it’s in it’s very dependent upon species and also very dependent upon temperatures.
[00:14:30] Now the adults generally live about a month at the at the most.
[00:14:38] In the wild these guys are going to live one to two weeks so they don’t have this enormous life cycle. So this is my problem I have with clients saying I want to once a month service well and the way I define control for a client is and I had this discussion where I was in a class and I was teaching and I said I can get 30 days control of mosquitoes and I’ll challenge the technician this is what do you consider control.
Is it when the adults start biting or when you find larvae or when the larvae has hatched because if you have larvae hatching on site it can the potential of it becoming a born mosquito is high. I consider control when I’ve controlled the larvae so when I’m inspecting plants I have my my flashlight and I’m looking into these plants like bromiliads adds and I’m looking for larvae I’m not looking for a live mosquito because I’ve I can control the larvae around the property I can get a large mosquito control so if you are you measuring control when the customer complains of a bite or you measuring control by what you’re observing in that lifecycle.
Eggs of Anopheles
let’s go to the eggs. Females can lay between 50 and 200 eggs per oviposition that’s after they’ve had a blood meal and made it. Now the eggs are laid singly and they float on either side. So this is what makes them adaptable hatching is going to take only two to three days. And they lay them parallel the larvae are parallel always still there floating on top. They’re not swimming around they’re always floating on top and they can feed on algae bacteria microorganisms they can dive for to feed on that but then they had to come back up to the to the surface.
Pupae of Anopheles
Now the pupae it must remember must come up to breathe and and it has what is known of a pair of respiratory trumpets.
[00:17:06] Ok cold called a cephalothorax. and that’s a big word but that’s how they breathe through a little basically a little straw that they have to breathe.
[00:17:21] And after you know these these days in the water after the pupa has been in the water you know that that sell off thought cephalothorax. and the adult emerges. OK. And that’s how they become an adult.
[00:17:40] Now the duration from egg to adult is going to vary always with species and ambient temperature now an athlete can develop from egg to adult in as little as five days in tropical conditions in subtropical conditions like in Florida 10 to 14 days so might.
[00:18:04] My point is if you’re using only an adulticide to control mosquitoes you’re only going to control the adults that are landing on those plants all right. Because they land the mosquitoes need to land. Now the problem with Anopheles mosquitoes they don’t always land on plants they like to be in dark areas and corners of buildings and stuff like that and dark areas to to breed. So if you don’t have a lot of vegetation around where they like to hide where are you getting them.
[00:18:42] You see.
[00:18:43] And if you’re only going to get 7 or 14 days of control maybe with an adultacide and you’re only getting about 14 days of control with a larvacide if it’s used in a liquid form because almost all IGR are photostable for only 14 days your real control real control is only up to 14 days in some areas you’re going to experience 30 days.
[00:19:14] Yes. Can you get 30 days a control. Yes depending on the environment depending on how much rain that month.
[00:19:19] But can you can you predict from month to month to month to month especially in a subtropical and tropical environment like Florida is that you’re gonna be able this is why you’re mosquito control is all over the board if a customer really wants to know how much control can you legitimately get two weeks. This is why most companies are are especially the companies that specialize in mosquito control are saying 14 to 21 days.
[00:19:49] They got a seven day window to play with realistically.
Adults Anopheles Mosquito
[00:19:56] So now let’s talk about the adults remember they got three sections thorax head and abdomen and they’ve got the you know the six pair legs the wings.
[00:20:12] They usually will mate within one to two days of becoming an adult now with with mosquitoes the males have a large swarm around dusk. So if you’ve got a large population of of Anopheles people are going to experience a lot of swarming and females will fly into the swarm to meet males only live about a week. Now here’s the interesting part. Both male and female can feed on nectar and other sugar sources but the female requires a blood meal to develop eggs. And this is why I’m a fan of ATSB because you can control with ATSB and IGR. You can get better control than most pyrethroid sprays and we don’t have access anymore to any organophosphates which are very effective on mosquitoes.
[00:21:18] But cities have access to those and that’s what a lot of the spraying that goes on. And this is why people have a fit about you know getting their city spray because they are using organophosphates and IGR.
Biting or feeding and Resting of Anopheles
[00:21:31] So biting feeding and resting most feeding is gonna correct night so if you’re if you’ve got a client that wants to go out every single night smoke a cigar have a drink on his patio and he’s getting biten good. Chances are he’s got Anopheles.He doesn’t have aedes you see.
[00:21:53] And now you need to develop a strategy to control his particular problem. Now why is this so difficult to control sometimes because unlike aedes which only have about 100 to 300 feet of travel Anopheles mosquitoes can travel up to a mile the breeding sites could be a mile away.
[00:22:20] And depending on wind conditions that could change some species have been proven to fly over a mile from the breeding site so if there is some where you’re pulling a map in the air and you’re looking for these bodies of water or places where these mosquitoes are breeding and there’s a you know there’s a body of water or a field or there’s a drainage field or somebody is you know something is happening you can pretty much determine where that problem is and be able to do enough investigative work to figure it out that it’s not anywhere near even the neighbors now what Anopheles do is dig a quadrangle Lake
Overwintering of Anopheles Mosquitoes
over wintering as fertilize eggs in an older club and in colder climates but over overall wintering of adults can stay protected in barns sheds you know holes in your attic that you’re not sealed. Tree holes you know dark protected areas. These guys can overwinter and this is how they survive. So understanding all this about Anopheles versus aedes versus culex is going to help you take on those difficult cases.
[00:23:53] Look I’ll give you a couple of examples we get we get the calls when you know people are wanting to do something different with mosquitoes or they or the company has failed the company they have. And when you’re when you’re buying a minimum viable product from a large company or you’re selling a minimum viable product you don’t have the time to do any of this work. You’re basically you’re basically also. Guess what. If you have one of these franchises your seasonal so you’re laying off staff and rehiring in the summer in the spring. And mostly you’re hiring a bunch of kids that you have to train very quickly and you equip them with a van with the products on there and train them very quickly to do this. And they just got to go out and basically crank out the work. That’s the nature of the beast. Is it good battery or no. It is. It is what it is. So when we get these calls I got a property that is about just shy of an acre about three thousand feet shy of an acre. There’s only six thousand square feet of lawn on this property.
[00:25:06] This is basically a haven for all mosquitoes especially Anopheles. There is no aedes Aegypti there.
[00:25:17] Surprisingly we put out the the the ovi traps to catch them and monitor them from Catchmaster
[00:25:26] There were no mosquitoes in those traps for months. We’ve had him out there for six seven months. We found one mosquito on there. We’ve got three traps in that property. Everything is it’s like being in a jungle. And it was much worse before a hurricane and got trimmed back. But this is a jungle. It also happens to be oceanfront on a on a canal that goes out into the ocean. So it’s saltwater it has marshes.
[00:25:53] It has the perfect thing. Company couldn’t control mosquitoes the coming once a month that said you can’t come once a month. We’ve got to come here every two weeks. We still go every two weeks and they’re still complaining they haven mosquitoes. We’re treating with ideas we’re treating with an adults side. We’re using a surfactant and we’re using a synergistic and we have a difficult time controlling mosquitoes. But these are the hard cases that we take on and we charge a pretty penny for that. You see I got another home in a similar place but this one is behind a stream of water and a body of water that also goes out to the ocean she put out the Ovi traps from Catch master and said I try these. We’re still getting bitten at night like crazy. I said you know why because those are only for aedes aegypti and you don’t have aedes aegypti. Chances are you’re getting bit during the day now. So we put them on ATSB and IGR and she says.
[00:26:54] I’ve been in this home 14 years. This is the first time I’ve been able to go outside at night ever and not get bit to death. I mean I’m still getting bit. I see a couple but it’s nowhere near what it used to be we’re suspecting that if we add another type of service to that we could prove we thought like a small a repellent area that you use to to repel that you could get a really good control of mosquitoes.
[00:27:26] But it has to be an integrated mosquito strategy. It can’t be a one size fits all strategy. And you’ve got to depend that if that customer’s failing with other companies that is why you have to look at it from a from a strategic approach and say listen if this isn’t going to cost you sixty nine dollars every 14 to 21 days you know we’re in the neighborhood of one hundred and fifty two hundred dollars.
The only other option is a mosquito misting system but with oceanfront property you can’t use a lot of the products within 75 feet or 50 feet of water and that’s a problem for us. So in other areas you know that horse country you know a mosquito misting system is great because you’re installing it in the barns you’re protecting the horses you’re also killing flies with a mosquito missing since because you’ve got flight control now and you’ve got outdoor fly control.
So these are all the options but you have to weigh all the options what is going to be the best for the client not what is the minimum viable product you sell and if it doesn’t work for them great it doesn’t work for them. I mean that’s just a reality of business you create one product that works for one for 80 percent or 60 percent of your clients and if it doesn’t work for them they need to find another company like ours to do stuff like that like yours that specialize in taking on difficult cases and this is how we make money. We take on difficult cases and we provide the results for the client that the client wants but the client is going to have to pay because it’s two to three times more the work.
So I hope this helps you understand mosquito’s better. We’re going to be covering a lot of mosquitoes because we’re entering into mosquito season. And you guys are in the Northeast are still thawing out but here in the south and in parts of the West to the southwest that’s going to start happening. So I hope you’ve enjoyed the podcast. Hey guys I will see you next time.