Females are the only mosquitoes that bite. They require a human or animal’s blood to nourish and produce eggs. They produce many batches of eggs and constantly need new blood to reproduce often.
Some people seem more prone to mosquito bites. While it is true that mosquitoes are drawn to the carbon monoxide and lactic acid (produced by muscle metabolism) in your breath they can also detect infra-red light from your body. Various other scents like perfume, perspiration and other smells can make one person more attractive to a mosquito than another.
Wearing lighter colors of clothing may reduce your chances of being bitten; mosquitoes tend to be attracted to darker colors because they are better at absorbing heat and light.
And lets not forget the most powerful best electric fly swatter can double-up as a super effective mosquito zapper racket too, giving you the opportunity to swat them before they get chance to bite!
When mosquitoes bite they inject their saliva,an anti-coagulant into their victim to prevent a person or animal’s blood from clotting. Our body’s auto-immune response to this causes an itching, swelling or burning feeling that is quite normal. Calamine lotion can provide some relief while it takes a few days for the bite to heal.
Facts about Mosquitoes
- Most mosquitoes fly less than a mile during their lifetime.
- A female mosquito takes a nap after having a blood meal to assist in the digestion process.
- There are some types of mosquitoes that hibernate to survive cold winters.
There are more than two thousand five hundred species of mosquitoes around the world. About two hundred of these different species can be found in the U.S. and Canada. Forty-three of these species can carry the West Nile Virus. Some of the mosquitoes that are common carriers of West Nile Virus are the following.
They can be found in Central and Eastern United States with the exception of Florida, and in urban areas elsewhere in the U.S.A. House mosquitoes are common in urban and suburban communities as well as on rural premises. Their breeding grounds include storm sewer catch basins, clean and polluted ground pools, ditches, animal waste lagoons, effluent from sewage treatment plants and other sites that are slightly to very eutrophic or polluted with organic wastes.
They are generally active only during the warmer months; they usually attack humans towards the middle of the night indoors and outdoors, but are often more attracted to birds. They typically lay a single batch of 140-340 eggs after each blood meal. These mosquitoes can be found in the same areas as the Culex Pipiens.
They have a distribution that ranges from Central Canada south into Mexico. This type of mosquito is very common in the eastern and Central United States. Pregnant females enter hibernation in fall and hibernate in basements, spring houses, outbuildings and subterranean enclosures during the winter months. They thrive on moisture and a humid atmosphere. In April they begin to lay their eggs and can be found mainly in southern New Jersey. By May they move further north and have reached their peak population by July. They breed in temporary ground water, the edges of grassy swampland, sphagnum bogs, road side ditches, tire ruts, hoof prints, discarded buckets, tires, catch basins, sewage effluent and septic seepage.
The “Asian Tiger” mosquito was first discovered in Houston Texas in 1987. It has spread to 678 counties in 25 states. Such mosquitoes carry over twenty two arboviruses, including many viruses of public health importance. This mosquito is widely distributed in the South-Eastern United States. Its eggs can survive very cold winters resulting in their potential to carry diseases into a substantial portion of the United States. Infestations are less common northward and westward, presumably because of less hospitable environments.
One of the most widespread mosquito species in the world. Their distribution includes Nearctic and Palearctic regions, the African west coast as well as Oriental regions. In North America, they are common in Southern Canada and throughout the United States with the exception of Hawaii. They lay their eggs in small depressions which are subject to flooding. The females are persistent biters and most active in the early evening. The adults are known to fly great distances and are readily attracted to light.
Community Based Mosquito Control
Everyone can agree that mosquitoes are a nuisance and can make even a pleasant afternoon outdoors an unpleasant experience. What many people do not realize, however, is that mosquitoes are not only pesky, but they can also make you ill. Mosquitoes can be carriers of infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus. For this reason, it is crucial that neighborhood communities develop an effective mosquito control plan that will reduce risk of illness and cut down on the unwanted presence of mosquitoes.
Develop an Action Plan
In order to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes, create an action plan that aims to remove all possible breeding and living grounds for mosquitoes. Below are a few steps that can be followed in order to reduce the health risks associated with mosquitoes:
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, wading pools, potted plants, fountains and so on at least once a week, if not more frequently.
- Treat and circulate swimming pools regularly.
- Unclog rain gutters as often as possible.
- Keep windows shut tight if there are no mosquito screens.
Get Involved with Mosquito Control
Do not assume that everyone is concerned or knows about the necessity for mosquito control. A great way to get involved in establishing a mosquito control plan in your neighborhood is to educate others about the potential health dangers associated with these airborne pests. Taking on this responsibility is important for you as well as for others because despite your best efforts to reduce mosquito breeding grounds, if your neighbor does not take the same precautions, your home will be no safer than his. In addition, neighborhoods are sometimes sprayed to prevent disease and disturbance by mosquitoes. If you appear to have a large population of mosquitoes living in your neighborhood, it would be wise to contact the health department or city to inquire about mosquito control.
And Don’t Forget…!
In addition to establishing an effective mosquito control plan in your area, do not forget to protect yourself with mosquito repellant when outdoors. Moreover, you may want to replace your outdoor lights with yellow bug lights and get yourself the best mosquito trap you can afford!