Jun262015

"Mosquito Facts"

Mosquitoes are very annoying and can be very dangerous.  Listed below are some interesting facts about mosquitoes:

  • An average mosquito weighs 2 to 2.5 milligrams, which would seem to enable them to fly more swiftly, but not so. Mosquitoes fly at speeds between 1 and 1.5 miles per hour, making them one of the slowest flying insects of all. 

  • More deaths are caused by mosquitoes than any other animal, thanks to bugs' aid in spreading malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis. A single malarial mosquito can infect more than 100 people; and according to the World Health Organization, malaria kills a child every 45 seconds in Africa.

  • Some people really are mosquito magnets. Mosquitoes are drawn to the smell given off by the bacteria that live on everyone's skin, and some people give off an odor that makes them especially attractive to the tiny beasts. And contrary to what a lot of people say, eating garlic and using natural repellent for the most part doesn't do much, if anything, although DEET-containing bug repellents are indeed effective.

  • Mosquitoes don't need much to survive. Any small water container — or anything that will catch rainwater is enough to provide a breeding ground. Mosquitoes are also becoming resistant to commonly used insecticides, like pyrethroids, which are used to treat bed nets.

  • Mosquitoes go from egg to adult in five to 14 days. They then inflict from four to eight weeks of annoyance on animals and humans alike, depending on species.

  • The itch from mosquito bites is caused by an anticoagulant injected by the mosquito. The most famous diseases that they carry are West Nile disease, dengue fever and malaria, all of which are very nasty. They also carry several types of encephalitis, yellow fever and Rift Valley fever. Those are all very nasty as well.

  • Methods such as taking vitamin B, using Skin-so-Soft and rubbing one's skin with tumble dryer sheets does not do anything to deter mosquitoes. Draining all standing water regularly, using mosquito nets, staying indoors at dusk or dawn, and wearing DEET does.

  • Mosquitoes hone in on a mixture of body heat and carbon dioxide from your breath. According to Pest World, they can fly up to 14 miles in search of lunch.

  • Dragonfly larvae eat mosquitoes. Therefore, be nice to your dragonflies.

  • Mosquitoes have been annoying people and animals since the Cretaceous period, some 79 million years ago. There are now more than 3,500 species.