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Mosquito Trivia

The Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions About Mosquitoes

1.  How many species of mosquitoes are in the world?  About 2,700

2. How much blood does a female mosquito drink per       serving?
          About 5-millionths of a liter (for an Aedes aegypti).


3. What is the average number of mosquito bites a person receives before
      taking action (going indoors or putting on a personal repellant)?

4.  How do mosquitoes find new hosts?  By sight (they observe movement);
      by detecting infrared radiation emitted by warm bodies; and by chemical
      signals (mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and lactic acid,
      among other chemicals).

5.  How fast can a mosquito fly?   An estimated 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.

6.  A female mosquito passes contractible diseases, such as malaria, yellow
      fever, dengue fever, and encephalitis to her eggs. Once a mosquito
      ingests infected blood, she will contract the disease within 10 days.

7. How far away can a mosquito smell you, or a cow, or another host?  
                                           Between 20 to 35 meters

8.  Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors so choose light-colored clothing
      when you are outdoors.

9.  What is the most effective protection against biting insects?  
      The most effective treatment is a repellent containing DEET®.

10.How well do bug zappers work?   Forget about bug zappers! Scientific
       studies show that bug zappers actually attract more mosquitoes into
       your backyard. In fact, many beneficial insects are killed. Bug zappers
       may provide some psychological relief and gratification, but they'll also
       run up your electric bill without controlling your mosquito problem.

Mosquitos: Pests will be Pests

"Little things do matter--try sleeping in a room with a mosquito!"

Although the author of this statement is commenting on just how important little things are, mention of the mosquito gets the point across. They may be small in size but they count in a big way when we are trying to sleep. The hum of the mosquito's wings, beating about 1,000 times a second, keeps us awake.

Everyone is familiar with mosquitoes. They are found in all parts of the world. It is the mosquito, perhaps more than any other insect pest, that forces us to ask the question, "Why are they here?" So far, no one has come up with a satisfactory explanation!

Not only is this insect an annoyance and disturbance, it is the most dangerous. How so? It spreads some of the worst diseases of people and animals. When a mosquito "bites," it may leave germs behind that it has picked up from the last man or animal that it "bit". Most of the mosquitoes that spread disease live in the hot, moist tropics, though a few species of mosquitoes in the United States transmit encephalitis viruses and parasitic worms.

How do mosquitoes "bite"? It is impossible for a mosquito actually to bite because they cannot open their jaws.A mosquito bitingHowever, they have a tube-like mouthpart, extending downward from the head, that is called the "proboscis." In the center of the proboscis are six needlelike parts called "stylets" which stab the victim's skin, allowing the mosquito to sip blood through the proboscis as you would sip liquid through a straw. The mosquito's saliva keeps the blood from clotting so the mosquito can fill up. And it is the saliva that causes an itchy welt to form on the skin of some people.

A mosquito on a leafOnly a few species of female mosquitoes bite humans and animals, needing blood for the development of the eggs inside their bodies. Actually, males and females of many species sip only plant juices.

So, little things DO matter. This "little fly" is the worst enemy of humankind--some species have brought death to millions of people by spreading such dread diseases as yellow fever and malaria.

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