Though mosquitoes have been associated with disease and are considered to be undesirable pests, they have several surprising and interesting things about them.
Read on to know some facts about mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are a disease causing insect species belonging to the family Culicidae.
They have a negative image and are referred to as pests. Given below are some facts about them.
Facts about Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes have existed since 100 million years. There exist 3000 different species of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are quite adept at adapting to different climates. They are found all over the world including very cold locations like the Arctic.
Only the female mosquitoes bite. Their eggs require the protein found in human blood. A female mosquito may probe a human being’s skin as many as 20 times before drawing blood. The male mosquito is differentiated from the female one by the plumose or feather-like appearance of the antenna and palp (sensory organ). The high-pitched sound female mosquitoes make is created by their wing beats and helps the males find them..
Most mosquitoes live near 1 mile of their breeding ground, though some may live up to 20 miles away. Mosquitoes are cold-blooded creatures and are most active at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The male mosquito’s life is between 10 and 20 days long, whereas the female mosquito’s is between 3 and 100 days. A mosquito weighs 1/25000 of an ounce.
Mosquitoes are more attracted toward dark colors than light colors. Mosquitoes use smell to hunt and are particularly attracted by carbon dioxide.
Mosquitoes cause diseases like yellow fever, dengue, filariasis and encephalitis. More than 100 people can be infected by a single mosquito carrying the malaria virus. Mosquitoes kill more people than any other insect.
Most mosquito species live on fruit juices and nectar and only a very few feed on humans. Some mosquitoes feed on other mosquitoes. An interesting fact is that some mosquitoes prefer frogs.
The life stages of a mosquito are egg, pupae, larvae and adult; all of which, except the last stage, take place in water. Stagnant water like ponds and lakes is preferred by most mosquitoes to lay eggs.
A surprising fact is that the eggs of a mosquito can survive for more than five years. A female mosquito is capable of laying up to 200 eggs at one time. A mosquito develops from egg to adult within 4 to 7 days. Mosquitoes prefer places with less light like trees and areas of dense vegetation.
Mosquitoes have poor eyesight. They can identify their prey by an infrared view of its body temperature. Mosquito bites cause itching. Like many birds, mosquitoes are also pollinators.
You can take the following steps to reduce the population of mosquitoes :
Get rid of stagnant water in your garden or drums, bottles, tin cans etc.
- Cover all water containers.
- The water bowl of your pet can be a source of mosquito breeding; so empty it on a daily basis.
- Make sure water does not accumulate in the ground around your house.
- Regularly use DDT or other pesticide to kill mosquitoes.
- You can fill your fish tank with mosquito-eating fish.
- Cut the grass and shrubs short in the garden to avoid giving mosquitoes a place to inhabit.
- Keep unused swimming pools drained or covered.
- Drain all swamps in your neighborhood.