The Dirt on Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are small, annoying, and leave itchy bites all over your arms and legs. While this is a fair description of the mosquito, some interesting facts about the mosquito may surprise you. It’s time for you get acquainted with the buzzing pest that ruins your summertime activities.
- A mosquito only weighs 1/25,000 of an ounce.
- Mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than any other living creature.
- Mosquitoes pose a threat to public health, spreading everything from West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue fever, malaria, and even heartworms in pets.
- Citronella candles and smoking coils repel mosquitoes, but you have to stay in the smoky plume to be protected.
- West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes, and can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease.
- There are over 2,500 species of mosquitoes scattered throughout the world.
- One female mosquito may lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time and may average 1,000 to 3,000 off springs during her life span.
- Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so eliminating standing water on your property reduces your risk.
- The average life span of a female mosquito is 3 to 100 days and the male lives an average of 10 to 20 days.
- Only female mosquitoes bite—they need the protein for their eggs.
- Male mosquitoes survive by sucking on nectar and other plant juices.
- The welt that appears after a mosquito bites is an allergic reaction to the saliva that is injected into your skin to prevent your blood from clotting.
- From 100 feet away (30 meters) mosquitoes can smell your scent, especially the carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale.
- Mosquitoes rarely travel farther than 300 feet from their birthplace.
- Light colors are less attractive to mosquitoes than dark colors; thus, mosquitoes are more likely to choose a victim wearing darker colors.
- Mosquitoes are found all over the world, even in cold places like the Arctic.
- Mosquitoes prefer dark places like trees, grass and shrubs.
- A mosquito develops from egg to adulthood in 4 to 7 days.
- Like humans, mosquitoes have food preferences—not all mosquito species bite humans, some prefer birds, horses, frogs or turtles.