7 Types of Mosquitoes in Pennsylvania
Mosquitos are among humanity’s biggest enemies, as they transmit several diseases and make countless people sick each year. The dense woods of Pennsylvania are home to plenty of mosquitos, but what might surprise you is how many different varieties there are. Keep reading as we list several of the most common types of mosquitos in Pennsylvania and tell you about each one so you can be better informed.
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1. Common House Mosquito
|Characteristics:||Brown body, long and fragile-looking legs|
The common house mosquito is likely what many of us think of when we hear the word mosquito. It has a small brown body and fragile-looking legs. You might also notice white bands across the abdomen. The females drink blood from humans, birds, and other animals, while the males primarily eat nectar and other sugary substances.
2. White-Dotted Mosquito
|Characteristics:||Dark body with white spots|
The white-dotted or polka-dotted mosquito is not as common as the common house mosquito, but you can find them throughout Pennsylvania. It’s a dangerous species that bites during the day, unlike most other mosquitos. It also spreads yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, and other diseases. They are small but easy to identify by their black body with white spots or stripes.
3. Inland Floodwater Mosquito
|Characteristics:||Stays near water|
The inland floodwater mosquito is a variety that you will often encounter around water. The females prefer human and cattle blood, while the males eat nectar, sap, and honeydew. These mosquitos are responsible for transmitting heartworm to pets, and they can carry a deadly rabbit disease. It has small wings and long legs.
4. Rock Pool Mosquito
|Characteristics:||Lyre-shaped pattern on the scutum|
The rock pool mosquito is a day-biter that enjoys dense forests. It’s reluctant to feed on humans, reptiles, and amphibians and gets most of its blood meals from birds and mice. These insects overwinter as eggs in cool environments, like Pennsylvania, and arrive in early spring.
5. Eastern Tree Hole Mosquito
|Characteristics:||Lays its eggs in trees or old tires|
The tree-hole mosquito is easy to find in the woodlands of Pennsylvania. As the name suggests, these mosquitos like to lay their eggs in water that they find in tree holes but will also use water that they find in old tires. They usually get their blood from rodents but will feed on a human if available, and they can transmit several diseases.
6. Yellow Fever Mosquito
|Characteristics:||Large in size|
Yellow fever mosquitos are rare in Pennsylvania, but they are an invasive species, so scientists expect their population to grow over the next several years. They feed during the day and can transmit several diseases, including yellow fever. They breed in standing water and like to live in small containers, like flower pots or even a drainage ditch. They’re hardy and difficult to control once a population gets started.
7. Asian Tiger Mosquito
|Characteristics:||Black with white/silver makings.|
The Asian tiger mosquito is a rare but invasive species that you might see in Pennsylvania. It has a black body with white or silver markings. It can transmit over 200 diseases, and it likes to bite its host repeatedly, even dozens of times per minute. A survey of 120 people showed that 60% felt that the Asian Tiger mosquito made it difficult to enjoy the outdoors.
Tips for Preventing Mosquito Bites
- Eliminate standing water around your property, especially in old tires or cans.
- Change the water in birdbaths every week.
- Cover any holes in your screens or widows to keep the mosquitos out.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Tuck in your shirt.
- Use bug lights outdoors instead of regular lights to attract fewer insects.
- Planting lemongrass, catnip, marigolds, and other plants can help drive off mosquitos.
There are several types of mosquitoes in Pennsylvania, but the common house mosquito is seen the most often. These small, fragile insects live all across the state and enjoy biting humans just before the sun goes down and right before it comes up. The inland floodwater mosquito is another common variety that you can find around water, and it spreads several diseases. The Asian Tiger mosquito is likely the most terrifying because it can bite dozens of times per minute.
Featured Image Credit: FotoshopTofs, Pixabay