Mosquitoes can carry diseases and transfer them from living things to other living organisms, including humans. Throughout history, many people have lost their lives because of the deadly diseases carried by some mosquitoes. However, most mosquitoes are more annoying than they are deadly. Mosquito bites normally produce red, itchy bumps on the skin of people allergic to the saliva, and scratching the bumps can break the skin and cause infection. Only the female mosquitoes bite, because the males’ mouths cannot penetrate skin, so they feed on flower nectar rather than blood.
Warm weather and wet conditions encourage mosquito activity. Flood-prone areas, heavily irrigated areas and areas near large bodies of water attract mosquitoes because the insects need water to reproduce.
Female mosquitoes need protein from animal blood to create their eggs. The females deposit their eggs on various surfaces where they can live for years without hatching. The eggs hatch after exposure to low levels of water and moisture. Reproduction can happen very quickly and produce an entire generation of mosquitoes in just five to seven days.
Aquatic organisms in the water provide food for mosquito larvae. The larvae have air tubes for breathing, but they can also survive with their heads immersed in water. The larval stage of five to seven days ends when the mosquitoes become pupae and typically remain inactive for two or three days. However, they have the ability to defend themselves during that period if necessary. The adult mosquitoes that emerge after that time can live for two weeks.
Most female mosquito species spend their days in the midst of damp foliage and come out in the evenings to feed on the blood of birds and mammals, but certain species feed on reptiles.
Know the Enemy…
There are approximately 2,700 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world, and the United States is home to 150 varieties. Species will vary in appearance, location, feeding habits, and in their threat to humans.
The following mosquitoes are the most common species found in the United States and Canada:
Aedes albopictus: Also known as the Asian tiger mosquito, it is associated with the transmission of dengue fever, eastern equine encephalitis and heartworm. It is native to the continent of Asia and was most likely brought to the U.S. through shipments of scrap tires from northern Asia.
It is a small mosquito with distinctive white scales on its thorax, and black and white scales on its abdomen and legs. It is an aggressive daytime biter.
Culex pipiens: Also known as the northern house mosquito, it is the most common species found in urban areas. It is believed to be primarily responsible for the transmission of the West Nile virus to humans, birds and other mammals.
It is brown and has white markings on its legs and mouth parts. It prefers to attack at dusk and after dark.
Anopheles quadrimaculatus: It is the chief carrier of malaria in the eastern, central and southern United States.
It is brown and has three long projections on its head. There are white patches on the wing-veins of many of the more dangerous anopheline mosquitos. It is active after dusk and just before dawn.
The above most common mosquito species are found throughout North America. There are countless numbers of species that are specific to certain states and locations throughout the country as well.
MosquitoNix was instrumental in helping establish our industries “Best Management Practices” and “Advertising Guidelines”
The Dangers of Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes locate you by smell; they can do this from 100 feet away. Specifically, they can detect the carbon dioxide that you exhale. Before you even realize the insect has landed on your skin, you’ve been bitten.
Mosquito Bite Facts
Only female mosquitoes bite. The last time you were bitten, you probably didn’t notice until it was too late. This is because the mosquito injects its saliva into your skin. The saliva acts as both a local anesthetic, which has a numbing effect, and an anti-coagulant that keeps your blood from clotting. This ensures that you don’t feel the attack, and it makes sucking your blood easier. After feeding on human or animal blood, she has obtained a specific protein that she needs in order to lay eggs and make more mosquitoes.
Health Dangers Across the Globe
Although most people associate a mosquito bite with intense itching and a swollen, red area of skin, the threat to human health goes far beyond simple annoyance. Throughout history, mosquitoes have been known to spread serious disease. In fact, more than a million people are killed by mosquito-related diseases every year.
Dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever are well documented and well-known diseases spread by mosquitoes. When traveling to Asia, Africa or South America, tourists are warned to protect themselves from insect bites because of the serious mosquito-borne illnesses prevalent in those areas.
In Your Own Back Yard
There are 150 varieties of mosquitoes in the United States alone. Threats like West Nile virus, LaCrosse encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis have caused many cases of serious illness and even death in American citizens. Even when a serious illness has not been contracted directly from a mosquito, bacterial infections caused by the frequent scratching of lesions can lead to serious consequences in diabetics and immune-compromised people.
Your Pets Are at Risk Too
Humans are not the mosquito’s only victims. Eastern and Western equine encephalitis and both dog and cat heartworms are caused by mosquitoes. The alarming world-wide health statistics have led some to call the mosquito the most dangerous living creature on earth.
MosquitoNix Keeps You Safe
Controlling mosquitoes protects you, your family and your pets from dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses. Our custom-installed, adjustable automated mosquito spray system provides guaranteed protection from outdoor pests, 24 hours a day. Use our simple online form to schedule a no-obligation, free evaluation and estimate.