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Mosquito Facts - Things You Should Know
Mosquitoes can easily be thought of as the worst insects in the world; flying around biting people and animals leaving itchy welts and carrying disease, but there's a lot that most people don't know about mosquitoes. In this hub I will go over some facts about mosquitoes that I think will help you prevent and protect yourself(and your family) from mosquitoes. I believe that only when you understand something can you fully protect yourself from it.
There are about 3000 species of mosquitoes in the world. Approximately 150 of these are found in North America. Although there are such a large number of mosquito species the information I will be writing relates to all of them.
Mosquitoes require blood to produce fertile eggs. This is why they bite. Females lay multiple batches of eggs and require a blood meal for each batch, this means that each time a female lays eggs she must bite an animal/human to lay her next batch. They must lay there eggs in still water.
Mosquitoes have a very short life, the average adult life span is only about 2 weeks. Although some types of mosquitoes hibernate and therefore have a longer lifespan, these types can live for 6-8 months but most of that is spent in hibernation.
Good It's Cold, No Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are cold blooded animals which means that they can not produce their own body heat, they rely on the weather to keep them alive. The optimum temperature for a mosquito is 80 degrees fahrenheit, they become lethargic at 60 degrees fahrenheit, and they can not function in temperatures less than 50 degrees fahrenheit. This means when it's cold outside you won't have to mess with mosquitoes.
Although, if you live where the temperature ranges throughout the year don't think that when it gets cold the mosquitoes die. Many mosquitoes hibernate during the cold seasons. They hide out in warm places like animal burrows, hollow logs, and even basements.
Fuel For Thought
Mosquitoes get there energy from sugar, not blood. All mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, fruit juices, and liquids from plants. They feed every day. The sugar is used as their fuel for flight. Mosquitoes can live without blood, however as I said before they can't reproduce without blood. Although female mosquitoes are the only ones that bite! Males do not bite as they do not require blood. Did you know that?
Yes, mosquitoes can carry diseases. In fact, any insect that feeds on blood has the potential of carrying and transmitting diseases. Mosquitoes are the biggest transmitter of disease in the animal kingdom, and they can carry almost any disease be it human or animal. They can transfer disease from animal to human and from human to animal, but the disease has to be able to infect the different type of host.
A mosquito can carry and transmit heart worms from dogs, but they can't transmit it to a human as the disease can't develop in a human.
Remember, I said mosquitoes can transfer ALMOST any disease, but not all! Mosquitoes can not transfer HIV, the disease that causes Aids. Even if a mosquito is feeding on an HIV infected host and stops halfway through and moves directly to another host, the disease cannot be transferred because there is not enough of it present to infect a new host. HIV is treated like food to a mosquito, it is digested like anything else.
Mosquito Spit Itches
When a female bites a blood source, such as a human, they release a special saliva. The saliva helps blood from clotting while they are extracting it from the host. Usually we do not realize that we are bitten by a mosquito until after it happens. You discover a small itchy bump, but why?
The bump that you receive is not caused by the bite of the mosquito, that is the actual wound. The bump is caused by the saliva! It's actually an allergic reaction the saliva. Some people have a worse reaction than others. For most the irritation goes away within a day or two for some it may last for a week or more.
Scientists have studied this question for some time now but we still don't have a solid answer. We know that they are attracted to us by the C02 that we exhale, that's how they track us down, but after that it's basically a mystery. It's believed that fragrance and light have something to do with the decision of "who to bite?" We think that things such as perfume, cologne, hair spray, deodorant, and even your clothes can affect your chances of being bit. The color of your clothing affects the amount of light that is reflected from you, this is thought to affect a mosquito's decision to bite you.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of mosquitoes. Stay safe out there!
Also, I want to take a moment to tell you about the Mosquito Magnet. I personally own three of these units for my 5 acre farm and they work great! I bring them out for parties at night and no one gets bit! They run on propane and are easily portable. You can find out more information about Mosquito Magnet by clicking here. They offer free shipping on most orders!