Houston is at a much greater risk for mosquito-borne illnesses than most other cities in the United States. With over 50 species that call Houston home, it’s important for you to understand which mosquitoes to be on the lookout for. This list covers the most common species that pose the biggest threat to your home and health this summer.

Aedes Aegyptii

This pest is particularly dangerous because it is the primary carrier of Zika virus. Only the females bite, though, because they need to feed on the protein in our blood before they can lay their eggs. Because this species only needs a small bit of moisture to thrive, it’s just as important to keep your yard free of obvious standing water as it is to remove any toys, trash or tools that could accumulate moisture.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

This species is one of the most irritating and potentially harmful types of mosquitoes you’ll encounter. Most mosquitoes are only active from dusk til dawn, but Asian Tiger mosquitoes actually prefer the heat of the day. Because they are common carriers of diseases like West Nile virus, dengue and yellow fever, it is important to minimize the chances of being bitten by one of these pests. They thrive in standing water, and their young are particularly resilient. To prevent an infestation around your home, keep your yard clean and dry. You should also perform weekly checks on outdoor surfaces like trash cans and vinyl siding to ensure no eggs have been laid.

Aedes Albopictus

This tiny breed of mosquito is also primarily active in the daylight hours. While they do pose a threat to humans, your pets are also at risk around them. Aedes albopictus can carry eastern equine encephalitis as well as heartworms, both of which are extremely dangerous for your furry friends.

Culex Pipiens

These mosquitoes live primarily in cities and densely populated areas. They particularly love to feed on sugar sources, which means it is critical to keep garbage secure and your yard clean. Females also feed on the blood of humans and birds in order to develop their eggs. This puts humans at risk for diseases like meningitis, encephalitis and any diseases birds might be carrying.

Anopheles Quadrimaculatus

The Anopheles quadrimaculatus is a well-known carrier of malaria. They are also potential transmitters of canine heartworms. This species is most active at dusk and just before sunrise, but they are somewhat active throughout the night.

The best way to keep your pets and family safe this summer is through prevention. Call the friendly professionals at your local Mosquitonix today. They’ll come to your home and work out a plan of action to keep your property pest-free all summer long.