Some Not-so-Fun Facts about Mosquitoes
When we think of mosquitoes we think of the annoying blood suckers that they are. I’m not here to change your opinion of them, they are annoying blood suckers! Check out our blog of the dangers to look out for in the little problem-makers in Mosquitoes, One of the most Dangerous Animals on Earth. But is that all there is to the mosquito? Are they only here to cause problems? Are they just a food source for dragonflies and a danger to us? Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about one of the most dangerous animals on our planet!
- An adult mosquito can live as long as 5 months. It may take several months for a larva to develop to the adult stage in cold water. Eggs of floodwater mosquitoes may remain dormant for several years, and hatch when they are covered with water.
- Male mosquitoes find female mosquitoes by listening to the sound of their wings beating. The males can actually identify the correct species by the pitch of the female’s wings.
- Mosquitoes can fly about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.
- Most mosquitoes do not fly very far from their larval habitat, but the salt marsh mosquito migrates 75 to 100 miles over the course of its life.
- Some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others. It is not clear why, but probably has something to do with the 300 odd chemicals produced by the skin. There has been research that suggests that some mosquitoes seek out and draw blood from pregnant women, preferring pregnant over none pregnant women at about a 2:1 ratio.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, lactic acid and octenol found in our breath and sweat, and they also sense the heat and humidity that surrounds our bodies. So if you don’t want to get bit, don’t breathe! They may also have a preference for beer drinkers. Click the link to learn about the study used to determine this information!
- In the interest of science, Arctic researchers uncovered their chests, arms, and legs and reported as many as 9000 mosquito bites per person, per minute. At this rate, an unprotected human would lose one half of his blood supply in approximately 2 hours!
- There are around 3,500 species of mosquitoes, but only a couple hundred feast on human blood.
- The female’s saliva induces an allergic response from her victim’s immune system; that’s why your skingets an itchy bump. It’s like being allergic to a dog or cat, the dandruff is dried saliva.
- Females lay their eggs in shallow water or even damp soil that’s prone to flooding. Get rid of any standing water near your home to reduce the mosquito horde.
- The best time to avoid mosquitoes is in the afternoon, when temperatures are hottest and the insects rest in cooler spots. That’s probably why mosquitoes seem to be at their worst in the morning.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists only four chemicalsas being effective for repelling mosquitoes: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (or its synthetic version, called PMD) and IR3535. So if something says “DEET-free” I’d check to see if one of the other chemicals is used.
- Some scientists think that eliminating mosquitoes wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Some though, and worry about the effects on the ecosystem of the loss of an insect that is eaten by spiders, salamanders, frogs, fish and other insects. Click the link to check out War on Mosquitos!
- Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) that hang over a bed have been shownto reduce malaria incidence among children and pregnant women by up to 50 percent. The nets last only a few years before they have to be replaced.
- The last time there was an outbreak of yellow fever, in the United Stateswas in 1905 in New Orleans. A smuggler’s ship full of bananas avoided the quarantine and by June cases began to emerge among Italian immigrants who unloaded banana boats.
- The emergence of a worldwide outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya can betraced to a 2004 drought in Kenya, because women were forced to fetch water from farther away and to save the effort of continuous trips they stored gallons of water outside their homes – a perfect nesting ground for mosquitoes.