Mosquitoes might not win any award for being cute or the smallest creature, but they could win it for the most irritating insect ever. Don't you agree?
Which is your favorite animal on the planet? While some would go for the cutest creatures like kittens and rabbits, others choose terrifying animals like lions or sharks. But have you ever heard people saying mosquitoes are their favorite insects?
Mosquitoes are the most irritating creatures ever born. They love ruining your sleep, sucks blood, and do everything that you hate the most. These disease-carrying pests are the deadliest creatures on the earth. You won’t believe it, but more deaths are associated with mosquitoes in comparison to other animals. No matter how small they are, they have a brain and can sense and taste.
Do you know over 3000 mosquito species are known in the world? Out of which, nearly 180 species can be found in the US. They are a member of a group of 3500 species of small insects that belong to the order Diptera. They have a pair of wings, elongated mouthparts, and three pairs of long-hairs like eggs.
Let us read other interesting facts about mosquitoes that you might not have read anywhere.
Although over 3000 mosquito species exist on the planet, not all mosquitoes disturb humans. Only female mosquitoes bite humans to obtain protein found in the blood, which helps them in laying their eggs. Male mosquitoes, on the other hand, feed on nectar for survival.
Human blood contains protein and amino acids, which are important to develop eggs. Female mosquitoes bite with the proboscis (nose of a mammal). They suck blood and leave behind their saliva inside your skin. The protein behind saliva gives a response from the body and causes itching.
Can you believe this? Mosquitoes have existed since the Jurassic period, which makes them over 200 million years old. The oldest known mosquito, Paleoculicis minutus, was found in 79 million-year-old Canadian amber from the Cretaceous. They are members of the family of nematocerid flies and resemble crane flies and chironomid flies.
Unlike other insects, mosquitoes can’t fly high. They weigh about 3 milligrams and couldn’t fly above 25-27 feet. They are considered weak fliers in the pest category. They live their life within a short-range and reach a speed of up to 1 to 2 miles per hour. They are the smallest flying insect, even after having a small body weight.
Do you know mosquitoes can smell human breath? They can detect carbon dioxide released when humans exhale. They use a special organ called maxillary pulp to detect CO2 released from the breath.
Furthermore, mosquitoes use heat sensors to detect the warmth of the human body. Besides carbon dioxide, they are attracted to lactic acid and Octenol and sense the humidity that surrounds bodies. They can detect carbon-dioxide from 70 feet away.
Mosquitoes love sucking human blood. But you would be amazed to know that they can drink three times their body weight. They suck blood through their proboscis. It is a tube and would take nearly 1.5 million mosquito bites to drain the blood from your body.
Mosquitoes can transmit several diseases. They are responsible for malaria, which affects over 200 million people every year. Other major diseases like cholera, influenza, and Zika virus are also spread by mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes don’t travel far from their breeding spot. They don’t travel more than a mile after sucking on humans. Therefore, by removing breeding spots, you can prevent mosquitoes from coming near to you.
One of the best and the easiest ways to keep mosquitoes away is by switching the fan at high speed and not letting them sit on the land.
They have two spheres on both sides of your head. If seen closely, it looks like a mess. Due to this, their vision becomes poor, and they depend on thermal receptors.
Female mosquitoes usually lay eggs at night. The eggs are deposited in clusters on the surface of the stagnant water. They lay eggs up to three times before they die.
This is the lesser-known fact about mosquitoes. If this is the case, why do mosquito bites are painful? Unfortunately, they have sharp needle-like tubes that pierce our skin and suck the blood without letting you feel. The reaction of a mosquito bite can be seen differently in individuals. While some people won’t notice the mosquito bite, others can get infected with diseases like malaria and dengue.
The mosquito's saliva is transferred to humans during a bite and causes an itchy rash. Several things could be done when a mosquito bites you. Clean the affected area with alcohol, as it has antibacterial properties and can provide a cooling effect. Alternatively, rub tulsi to get rid of itching or burn rosemary to keep mosquitoes away.
They need standing water to breed but only take a few millimeters. It is not necessary to see standing water around your home, but several places exist where water is stored and give birth to these mosquitoes. The pest can be found in gutters, flower pots, garbage bags, rain gauge, old tires, and other places.
Mosquitoes live anywhere between 5-56 days, depending on several factors like weather and climate condition, natural predators, and gender. Their lifespan is short, but they can complete their life cycle in a short period. They need water to complete their life cycle.
They go through a complete metamorphosis stage, which includes terrestrial and aquatic phases in different stages. Their life-cycle consists of egg, larva, pupil, and adult stages. Different mosquitoes have different breeding habitats. While Aedes aegypti prefer to breed in clean, Anopheles species lay eggs in the dirt.
According to studies, mosquitoes have brains that consist of dopamine levels, which in turn teaches them what to avoid and when to return. Furthermore, mosquitoes don’t like the human smell but also remember smells released by the host.
Mosquitoes can be found everywhere in the world. According to the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), over 3000 species of mosquitoes can be found throughout the world.
Some of the mosquito species that are known to be the primary cause of disease in Indonesia are Aedes Mosquito, Anopheles Mosquito, and Culex Mosquito. Aedes has black and white markings. Its eggs are black and feature a shape like a rugby ball. Anopheles egg is about 1mm and floats on its sides.
Mosquitoes buzzing can be considered as the most irritating sound ever. If you live in an area where mosquitoes spread diseases, then it can be the dangerous one. Therefore, it is necessary to know the prevention methods to save yourself from multiple diseases.
Here are effective ways on how you can prevent mosquito bites.
The chemical repellents available in the market contain picaridin, DEET, and other insecticides, which are considered safe when used properly. Make sure that you don’t spray chemicals near your eyes and mouth. It is recommended to use natural repellent that contains no chemicals. Also, apply sunscreen (20-30 minutes) before applying insect repellent.
Wearing dark-colored clothes like blue and black attract mosquitoes. Loose fits and thicker clothes give protection than clothes that fits tightly. If you are going camping, wearing fancy clothes should not be your choice. Keep your clothes as loose as possible.
Mosquitoes crave a meal during a particular time. Staying inside during morning and evening hours can prevent you from a mosquito bite. If you can’t avoid going out at these times, then take precautions.
Still or standing water is a major breeding ground for mosquitoes. You can get rid of the containers containing water and dump them to prevent yourself from diseases. The uncovered vases, birdbaths, and puddles with water invite mosquitoes. Once a week, dump gutters, pots, and toys. The majority of mosquito species lay eggs in the stagnant water and spread diseases.
Spreading tea waste and coffee limit the reproduction of mosquitoes. The smell of green tea acts as a mosquito repellant. It is herbal and the cheapest method for killing mosquitoes. Do you know about this fact?
The mosquito net has holes to allow the breeze to pass through, allowing mosquitoes and other insects to keep out of place. Protect toddlers by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting for a tight fit. If you are traveling, then make sure that your accommodation has mosquito nets around the bed or doors or windows.
While several people know catnip is effective on cats, others smoke it like a cigarette. This oil is EPA-approved and gives you 7-8 hours of protection from mosquitoes. Alternatively, peppermint oil is an excellent mosquito repellant and applied by mixing it with lemon on the skin.
Do you know mosquitoes hate lavender? Make body spray with oil and apply it on your skin. Lavender has antifungal and analgesic qualities and soothes your skin. Grow lavender in the outdoor garden. Crush flowers and apply the oil to the affected body parts like arms and face. You can also apply lavender oil on a cloth and then rub it on the skin.
You can make a repellant spray with vinegar. Add some citronella oil for better results. Apply spray-on places and wait for the results.
By using several measures, mosquitoes can be prevented. Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading severe diseases and causes of deaths every year. Therefore, ensure that you are living in a safe place without having any gutters or holes nearby.
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