Some Mosquitoes Facts

Mosquitoes, the most hated insects, are pesky, disease-carrying pests that suck the blood of all living beings. These are some of the facts about mosquitoes that most people don’t know.

#1 Mosquitoes cause the maximum number of human deaths
That’s a fact! Mosquitoes are associated with more than a million human deaths ever year. This figure far exceeds the human deaths caused by any other insect, bird, or animal. Some of the deadly mosquito-borne diseases include yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria, and encephalitis. Additionally, mosquitoes are also carriers of heartworm, a lethal disease to dogs.

#2 Only the female mosquitoes bite and suck blood
Male mosquitoes avoid humans completely and feed on plants and flowers instead. However, only the female mosquitoes need blood from humans and animals. The human blood is required meet their reproductive functions; specifically, protein for their eggs. In other words, the female mosquitoes need a blood meal before laying eggs. Female mosquitoes bite humans only during their reproduction periods. At other periods, they feed on flower nectar.

#3 Mosquitoes cannot breed without water
Female mosquitoes need water – at least, a few inches – to lay eggs. Without water, it is impossible for mosquitoes to reproduce. Hence, it is extremely important to keep surroundings of all human habitations clean and free from all sources of stagnant water. Eliminating all sources of stagnant water is definitely the most effective means of checking mosquito population.

#4 Many mosquito species feed on other hosts like birds or amphibians
Of the 3,500 species of mosquitoes, only a few hundred prefer human hosts. A majority of mosquito species feed on plants, birds, and other animals.

#5 Mosquitoes are one of the slowest flying insects
The speed of mosquitoes varies between 1 to 1.5 mph. Most other insects like honey bees, butterflies, and locusts are much faster.

#6 Mosquitoes are extremely sensitive to carbon dioxide
The key signal from humans to mosquitoes is the carbon dioxide humans exhale. In fact, mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide from as far as 75 feet. Female mosquitoes, once they detect the exhaled carbon dioxide, fly back and forth before homing in on their victims.

#7 Mosquitoes’ wings move 300 – 600 times per second
This causes the irritating buzzing sound when mosquitoes are around. Male mosquitoes find their mates by listening to the distinct sound of female wing beats. Recent research has shown that, in some species, the female mosquitoes listen to the wing beats of the male.

#8 Most mosquitoes remain close to their breeding ground
Mosquitoes don’t like to travel. Except the salt marsh mosquitoes, most mosquitoes remain close to their larval breeding environment. Most mosquito species don’t move far from the breeding ground from which they emerge. However, the salt marsh mosquito is different. It travels up to 100 miles from its larval breeding habitat.

#9 The life expectancy of adult mosquitoes is 5 – 6 months
For a mosquito larva to develop to the adult stage, it takes several months. In unfavorable conditions, it may even take years. However, the average life expectancy of an adult mosquito is five to six months.

#10 The mosquito reproduces prolifically
A female mosquito lays 100 to 300 eggs at a time; that is, an average of 1,000 to 3,000 eggs during its lifetime. This certainly makes the mosquito one of the most prolifically breeding pests.

Since mosquitoes cause maximum human casualties, it is extremely important to keep surroundings of human habitations free of stagnant water sources. This checks their population effectively and limits their menace.

Mosquito Traps

Mosquito traps

With the increasing number of population and pollution, the diseases are taking dangerous shapes of epidemic, particularly in the third world countries where cleanliness and hygiene doesn't fall under the category of the first priorities for the citizens. In most cases the most treacherous

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How To Avoid Mosquito Bites

During summer most of us spend time outdoors, but then we also share more time and space with mosquitoes. Studies have shown that one in every five people are appetizing targets for mosquitoes. What makes one person more attractive to a mosquito than another person? Why mosquitoes bit more to one person than another person? Have any conclusions been reached regarding why some people are more attractive than others? There are many researches going on, to find reason why a female mosquito is more attracted to a particular person than another person. According to some studies, carbondioxide is the primary attractant to the mosquito. Some mosquitoes are also attracted to lactic acid present in human sweat.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Protecting yourself from mosquito bites is necessary as it lessen the chances of contracting many mosquito borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue, West Nile virus and yellow fever. Many commercial mosquito repellants contains DEET, which should be used with caution as many studies have found DEET to have harmful effects. Chemical repellents have some success in repelling mosquitoes, but not because mosquitoes don’t like the smell of these repellents. Rather, it’s because these repellents are effective at masking the smell of carbon dioxide and lactic acid.

What attracts Mosquitoes

There are many chemical compounds that attracts mosquitoes, and they can detect or smell these compounds from a great distance. According to many studies, the female mosquitoes are attracted to the following:

  • Chemical compounds: Mosquitoes are attreacted to carbon dioxide, lactic acid, carboxylic acid, ammonia and acteonol. These compounds are present in human sweat. The more you emit, the more attractive you are to mosquitoes. Adult emits more carbon dioxide compare to children and hence adults seem to be bitten more often than children.
  • Bacteria: There are millions of microbes that live on our skin that creates body odor. Some of us have a collection of microbes that are particularly irresistible to mosquitoes.
  • Movement and heat: Mosquitoes are also wn to both movement and heat.

There are plenty of ways for keeping biting mosquitoes at bay, and they don’t involve applying toxic chemicals repellants to your skin. There are also several natural remedies that can help take the sting out of your insect bites, should your preventative efforts fail.
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Mosquito Misting Systems – Effectiveness And Concerns

With the increase in the mosquito population and mosquito borne diseases, there has been attempts and discussion concerning different ways to control mosquito population. One such system that is used to control the growth of mosquitoes is to use ourdoor residential misting systems that disperse synergized formulations of natural pyrethrins or synthetic pyrethroids that are dispensed into the environment at predetermined intervals set by the user.

Outdoor Residential Misting Systems

Outdoor residential misting systems also known as “mosquito misters” are application systems that are designed to kill mosquitoees and other harmful insects by spraying pesticides in a fine mist. Misting systems usually consists of spray nozzles that are mounted around the perimeter of a home in the lawn or landscaping, or on parts of the house or fence. The spray nozzles are connected by tubing to a supply of insecticide. Misting systems can be automatic that are turned on at preset intervals set by the user. Others may be turned on using a remote controller.

What pesticides are used in the misting systems?

The insecticide products most often used in outdoor residential misting systems contain pyrethrins and permethrin. These products may also contain piperonyl butoxide. Certain minimal risk pesticides like Linseed oil, Malic acid, cedar oil etc, may also be used in some misting systems. Although not regulated by EPA, many states do regulate these pesticides.

Are residential misting systems safe?

People and pets may be exposed to pesticides used in a residential misting system through direct contact with sprays, by touching plants or other objects in the treated area, or by inhaling small amounts of pesticide remaining in the air. EPA has assessed the human health and environmental risks of the pesticides most commonly used in misting systems. Most of these pesticides last only short periods in the environment, so long-term exposure to humans is not expected. Based on its assessment, using toxicity data and exposure estimates, EPA does not expect risks of concern to humans when these chemicals are used in outdoor residential systems according to labeling specific for use in these systems. However, excessive use or accidents may pose risks. No pesticide should be regarded as 100% risk free.

Installing mosquito misting system

The installation of the mosquito misting system is easy and simple. First you would be required to decide on the area you want to cover. It is important to decide on the boundary area, which is the perimeter of your backyard, and then look out for areas within the boundary area, for instance, pools, decks, other entertainment areas, etc. Draw a rough sketch of the areas you want to cover and present it to the technician. The technician would then guide you with the number of nozzles and other installation requirements. You may then go about installing the system on your own, thus saving money.
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Some Mosquito Myth And Fact

Mosquitoes are annoying and are cause of many problems to both human and animals. They bite, make annoying sounds near your ear while you are asleep and even more disturbing are the fact that they can transmit dangerous viruses that can cause malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile and chikungunya. But not all that are said about mosquitoes or mosquito bites are true. Here are some of the Myths and Fact about the mosquito.

Myth: The female mosquito dies after she takes a blood meal.
Fact: Mosquitoes can bite multiple times. After the female mosquito takes a blood meal she completes the development of her eggs and may deposit up to 200 eggs. Then she seek for another blood meal.

Myth: Mosquitoes can transmit HIV
Fact: No. HIV does not survive in the mosquito long enough to be transmitted in the saliva. Also mosquitoes use 2 different tubes for sucking the blood and injecting saliva. Even if a mosquito had HIV-containing blood from another human inside it, the blood would never exit the bug through its salivary glands and into your blood stream.

Myth: All mosquitoes bite humans
Fact: According to CDC, there are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes. Many of them feed on plant, some on birds, reptiles and others on mammals. Only the female mosquito bite humans to suck blood for egg production.

Myth: Lemon dish soap and Listerine repel mosquitoes
Fact: This myth was started in 2002 and has been widely spread around the Internet. Lemon dish soap or listerine are neither an effective mosquito repellent nor concoction that will cause flocks of mosquitoes to fall out of the sky dead. According to the Florida Medical Entomology Lab at the University of Florida, these products do not work to thwart mosquitoes.

Myth: Ultrasonic devices repel mosquitoes
Fact: Ultrasonic devices are said to imitate the frequency of wing beat of male mosquito or of dragonflies and they are effective in repelling mosquitoes. But a study testing 5 different ultrasonic devices against 4 mosquito species demonstrated that ultrasound in the 20-70 kHz range used by these ultrasonic devices had no effect on reorienting flight by female mosquitoes either toward or away from human subjects.
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Mosquito Borne Diseases

Mosquitoes are more harmful to humans than any other insects, Its been said over one million people die every year from mosquito borne disease across the world. And over hundreds of millions people suffers from illness transmitted by mosquitoes. In addition to transmitting diseases to human, mosquitoes can also infect horses, dogs, and other pets with potentially deadly illnesses.

Malaria is caused by five species of parasite that affect humans. These parasites are plasmodium falciparum, plasmodium vivax, plasmodium ovale, plasmodium malariae and plasmodium knowlesi. Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly form and it predominates in Africa. The malaria parasite is spread between people by female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is reported that malaria kills one child every 40 seconds. According to report published by WHO in 2013, There are estimated 3.4 billion people at a risk of malaria worldwide. There were 207 million cases of malaria occurred globally in 2013 and over 627000 deaths. About 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year. The vast majority of cases in the United States are in travellers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria transmission occurs, many from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Dengue fever is the fastest growing mosquito-borne disease and is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. According to estimates, as many as 400 million people are infected yearly across the world. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species are the vectors of dengue. These mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in containers close to human habitations and are not well-controlled by standard spraying techniques. Dengue mosquitoes are highly sensitive to environmental conditions. Temperature, precipitation, and humidity plays an important role in reproduction and development and can influence mosquito presence and abundance. Higher temperatures also reduce the time required for the virus to replicate and disseminate in the mosquito. There are no vaccines available yet to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. Early recognition and prompt treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death.
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Mosquito Life Cycle And Their Breeding Habits

Mosquitoes are blood sucking insects that can be found all over the world. Mosquitoes cause great nuisance to human and animals. In homes, lawns, and public parks, they can hinder with chores and spoil enjoyment of leisure time.
Some species of mosquitoes pose serious threats to public health as vectors of diseases like dengue fever – a severe mosquito-borne disease characterised by high fever, rash, headache, joint and muscular pain. Mosquitoes also causes malaria, different types of encephalitis to human and horses and heartworm to dogs.

Mosquitoes are generally active at night or during during twilight hours. But some mosquitoes that breed near homes can be active during day time also. Mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle. They mostly breed in sewage contaminated stream, but some species of mosquitoes breed on clean water also. Though not all the species of mosquitoes that bite humans or animals transmit disease causing micro-organisms, nevertheless, their bites cause annoyance and allergic reactions to most individuals.

Life Cycle of Mosquito

Mosquito lifecycle
All mosquitoes have a life cycle that includes egg, larva, pupal, and adult. They need water to complete every stage of their life cycle except the adult stage. Female mosquitoes lay individual eggs mostly on the sides of tree holes or discarded containers or on the ground where there is standing water. The eggs can remain dormant for few years. Some eggs will hatch when they are flooded by rainfall. Some female mosquitoes lay their eggs directly on the surface of the water. These eggs usually hatch faster in less than 48 hours releasing larva. These larva feed on mostly micro-organisms and in about 7-9 days they change to pupal. The pupal stage is a resting, non-feeding stage. They spend most of their time at the water surface and tend to move only when disturbed. It takes about two days from pupal stage to become fully developed adult. When development is complete, the pupal skin splits and the mosquito emerges as an adult. The male mosquito feed only on nectar, plant juices and other sources of liquid; however, female mosquito require a blood meal as a source of protein before they produce eggs.
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