Mosquitoes – They Have Been Around For 30 Million Years

Elvis Elvis

These bad little guys have been around for 30 million years and have developed into perfect biting machines. Anywhere there is standing water available there is most certainly a population of mosquitoes because that’s where they lay their eggs.

Note: There are over 2,700 species of mosquitoes in the world and more than 170 species in North America.

Mosquitoes and Disease

Malaria and yellow fever have plagued mankind for thousands of years and are transmitted by mosquitoes. Other disease include West Nile and versions of Encephalitis. In addition to the annoyance and pain of being bitten you need to be aware that mosquitoes can cause serious problems beyond just the annoyance.

You can run but you cannot hide… Mosquitoes can find you by using highly advanced sensors to track you for a meal. These include:

Mosquitoes   They Have Been Around For 30 Million Years

Chemical Sensors

People, animals & birds give off carbon dioxide (and lactic acid) up to 100 feet or 36 meters away. If you are in a high mosquito concentration area you are in trouble if not protected. Note: Sweat also seems to be a factor in attracting mosquitoes.

Heat Sensors

Mosquitoes can detect your body heat which helps them to further find mammals and birds to bite.

Visual Sensors

Interestingly mosquitoes can detect color contrast and movement. If you are going to be out in the woods wearing clothing that blends in is a good strategy.

With all these ways to find you, you can see why going out without protection is just inviting multiple mosquito bites. Your only defense is to use some kind of a repellent that confuses their chemical receptors. There are hundreds of products out there that include both chemical and natural. These include ones you apply directly to yourself and ones placed around in the general area you will be. Note: All have different levels of effectiveness depending on the amount of natural versus chemical.

Mosquito Life Cycle Eggs –All mosquitoes lay their eggs in water which can include:

  • Swimming pools
  • Old tires
  • Gutters
  • Ponds
  • And Much more

Larva – The mosquito eggs hatch into larvae (wigglers) and they live at the surface of the water and breathe through a siphon air tube.

Pupa – Mosquito larva next change into pupae (tumblers) that live in the water until the final adult stage.

Adult – The adult uses air pressure to break out of its pupal case and crawls out of the water to dry and harden its external skeleton. The next step is flying off for a good meal… maybe you. (Actually they look to mate first, then feed).

Female versus Male Mosquitoes

One of the first things an adult mosquito will do is look for a mate. After mating, they go off to feed. The male mosquito feeds on plant nectar because they have short mouth parts that don’t allow for mammal feeding. The female mosquito has a long mouth part for penetration into mammals. They actually need the extra protein found in blood for laying their eggs.

Fighting Mosquitoes

As mentioned above, there are many methods to repelling and killing mosquitoes but the number one effective control is this… Remove or control their breeding places which include all forms of standing water. You can do a lot by just eliminating standing water in places not normally though of like old tires, small pools, and gutters.