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Mosquito Awareness Week


Every year since 1996, one week of June is designated National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. This is a time to raise awareness about how mosquitoes affect people’s daily lives and draw attention to the services offered throughout the United States and worldwide.
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week   
Here are a few ideas on how you can get the word out:
  • Distribute a press release. Here is a template you can use.
  • Contact your local radio station and offer to be a guest expert.
  • Contact your local elementary school and offer to talk about mosquitoes.
  • Contact your local girl scout or boy scout troop and offer to teach about mosquitoes.
  • Set up an information display in your community.
  • Hold an open house at your district.
  • Set up a tyre drive.
  • Distribute repellent packets in your community.
25th June-608 MossieDay1
More useful links
Mosquitoes, Why We Should Clean Up Our Backyard? Description: pdficon small
The Biology of Mosquitoes
Scout Activity Program (developed by Hillsborough County)

Fun Facts about Mosquitoes documentsmall

Aah, mosquitoes, the insects that are universally hated the world over. These pesky, disease-carrying pests make a living by sucking the blood out of just about anything that moves, including us. But take a moment to look at things from the mosquito's perspective – it's a pretty interesting life
  1. The word “mosquito” is derived from Spanish and means “little fly”. Mosquitoes are in fact a type of fly, belonging to the order Diptera (“true flies “or “two-winged flies”). The word reportedly originated in the early 16th century. In Africa, mosquitoes are called “MozziesMosquitoes are known from as far back as the Triassic Period – 400 million years ago.
  2. There are about 3000 species of mosquito but only 12 endemic species in New Zealand.
  3. The average mosquito weighs about 2.5 milligrams.
  4. Except in Polar Regions like Antarctica, mosquitoes are widely distributed across all the continents. The ideal temperatures for these species are warm and temperate when mosquitoes are found to move around the whole year. Extreme hot and extreme cold are the most unsuitable conditions for them to move on.
  5. The majority of the female mosquito species lay around 10 to 200 eggs
  6. All mosquitoes require water to breed. Some species can breed in puddles left after a rainstorm. Just a few inches of water is all it takes for a female to deposit her eggs. Tiny mosquito larva develop quickly in bird baths, roof gutters, and old tyres. Unlike larvae, the pupa does not eat during the stage of swimming or hanging down.

Lifecycle1 7. An adult mosquito may live 2-6 months.
Few probably make it that long, given our tendency to slap them silly when they land on us. But in the right circumstances, an adult mosquito has quite a long life expectancy.

8. Mosquitoes hibernate. They are cold-blooded and prefer temperatures over 26 degrees Celsius. At temperatures less than 10 degrees Celsius, they generally shut down for the winter. The adult females of some species find holes where they wait for warmer weather, while others lay their eggs in freezing water and die. The eggs keep until the temperatures rise, and they can hatch.
9. Mosquitoes don't have teeth. The females “bite” with a long, pointed mouthpart called a proboscis. They use the serrated proboscis to pierce the skin and locate a capillary, then draw blood through one of two tubes.
10. A mosquito can drink up to three times its weight in blood during feeding. Don't worry, though, this is about a 5-millionths of a liter of blood. It would take about 1.2 million bites to drain all the blood from your body.
11. Common mosquito predators are dragonflies, which are adept at eating mosquitoes in all phases of their lifecycle, and a fish called Gambusia. Bats also have 1% of their diet composed of insects and more importantly, mosquitoes.
12. If you’ve been bitten by a mosquito, it was a female because they need a blood meal before they can lay eggs. Since males don't bear the burden of producing young, they'll avoid you completely and head for the flowers instead. And when not trying to produce eggs, females are happy to stick to nectar too.

13. Some mosquitoes don't bite humans, or don’t bite at all.
Not all mosquito species feed on people. Some mosquitoes specialize on other animals, such as amphibians or birds, and are no bother to us at all. Some species have predatory larvae, which gain enough proteins during their larval hood. The females don’t need any blood meal as an adult.
14. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, lactic acid and octenol found in our breath and sweat. They may have a preference for beer drinkers.
15. Mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide up to and at distances of 25 to 35 meters. Since human beings exhale carbon dioxide through the nose and mouth, mosquitoes are attracted to our heads, perhaps leading to more incidents of “self-slapping while sleeping” than any other cause. Bigger people are often more attractive to mosquitoes because they are larger targets and they produce more mosquito attractants, namely CO2 and lactic acid. Active people also produce more CO2. 
16. Smelly feet are attractive to certain species of mosquitoes – as is Limburger Cheese. and lactic acid.
17. The smell of chocolate confuses them. The carbon dioxide we exhale excites and attracts mosquitoes, which is a bummer since we can’t exactly stop breathing to prevent their stealthy attacks. But researchers have found that certain scents – some of them minty, some fruity, and some that smell like caramelized chocolate – can stun the buzzing bugs’ carbon dioxide sensors, thus making it harder to find their next dinner.
18. Dark clothing has been shown to attract some species of mosquitoes more than lighter coloured clothing.
19.Mosquitoes fly an estimated 1 to 1.5 miles per hour. That might sound fast, but in the insect world, mosquitoes are actually rather slow. If a race were held between all the flying insects, even butterflies would finish well ahead of the skeeter.
20. A mosquito's wings beat 300-600 times per second.
This would explain that irritating buzzing sound you hear just before a mosquito lands on you and bites.
21. Mosquito mates synchronize their wing beats to perform a lover's duet.
Scientists once thought that only male mosquitoes could hear the wing beats of their potential mates, but recent research on Aedes aegypti mosquitoes proved females listen for lovers, too. When the male and female meet, their buzzing synchronizes to the same speed.
22. Salt marsh mosquitoes may travel up to 100 miles from their larval breeding habitat.
Most mosquitoes emerge from their watery breeding ground and stay pretty close to home. But some, like the salt marsh mosquitoes, will fly lengthy distances to find a suitable place to live, with all the nectar and blood they could want to drink.
23. Mosquitoes generally fly below 25 feet (7.6m). However, some species have also been found at extraordinary heights, including 8,000 feet (2500m) up in the Himalayas.


Some Not So Fun Facts About Mosquitoes documentsmall

  1. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on Earth. Many mosquito species are vectors of disease. They can carry and transmit disease-causing organisms such as viruses, bacteria and worms, from host to host. In fact they are the deadliest animals in the world. Beware the dangers of tigers, sharks, snakes? Actually, fear the mosquito, the most lethal creature on the planet. More deaths are caused by mosquitoes than any other animal, thanks to bugs' aid in spreading malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis.  
  1. Malaria infects around 250 million people each year worldwide and kills about one million, mostly children in Africa. A single malarial mosquito can infect more than 100 people; and according to the World Health Organization, malaria kills a child every 45 seconds in Africa. About a fifth of those deaths can be attributed to counterfeit anti-malarial drugs.
  2. Birds were originally blamed for the spread of the West Nile Virus. But a 2010 study says that it was the mosquitoes themselves, which can travel up to 2.5 miles per day, that were responsible for the spread of the disease from 2001 to 2004.
  3. Alexander the Great may have died from a mosquito bite. The King of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire, never lost a battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders, but he may have met his final defeat at a mosquito infected with West Nile virus.
    George Washington suffered from malaria. George contracted the disease when he was a teenager. In the second year of his presidency, he experienced severe hearing loss due to quinine toxicity.
  4. Viruses increase their bloodlust. Female mosquitoes already have an unquenchable need for blood, but researchers have found that the dengue virus, which the mosquitoes transmit to humans, makes them even hungrier for the red stuff. The virus manipulates the insect’s genes to make them thirstier for blood; it also activates genes to increase the mosquitoes' sense of smell to become better hunters.
  5. Parasites make them go nuts for dirty socks. Not only do parasites live on and feed from their hosts, but can also manipulate the behavior of their hosts to increase their odds of spreading. Scientists have shown that mosquitoes infected with the malaria parasite are drawn to the smell of human sweat, as was evidenced in experiments with the use of a well-worn sock.
  6. Mosquitoes feed day and night. The majority of the species are really crepuscular which means that they feed at dawn or dusk. Whereas the Asian tiger mosquito is one of these that primarily feed in daytime.
  7. Mosquito spit is itchy. The female’s saliva contains an anti-coagulant that lets her more easily suck up her meal. The saliva induces an allergic response from her victim’s immune system; that’s why your skin gets an itchy bump. While one tube in the proboscis draws blood, a second pumps in saliva containing a mild painkiller and an anti-coagulant.
  8. Mosquitoes can smell human breath. They have receptors on their antennae that detect the carbon dioxide released when we exhale. Those plumes of CO2 rise into the air, acting as trails that the mosquitoes follow to find the source.
  9. Sweat helps mosquitoes choose their victims. Our skin produces more than 340 chemical odors. They are fond of octenol, a chemical released in sweat, as well as cholesterol, folic acid, certain bacteria, skin lotions, and perfume.
  10. Body heat marks the target. Mosquitoes use heat sensors around their mouthparts to detect the warmth of your body – actually, the blood inside it – then land on you and locate the best capillaries for tapping.
  11. Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. Usually, the eggs are deposited in clusters – called rafts – on the surface of stagnant water, or they are laid in areas that flood regularly. Eggs can hatch in as little as an inch of standing water. Females will lay eggs up to three times before they die.
  12. The average mosquito lifespan is approximately two months. The lifespan of female mosquitoes entirely depends on the surrounding temperature in that some live on for couple of weeks while others can live about six to eight weeks, under ideal conditions.  Females of species that hibernate may live up to six months. Males have the shortest lives, usually 10 days or less,
  13. Bats do not eat mosquitoes. At least, not very many of them. Mosquitoes make up less than 1 percent of a bat's diet. And purple martins, a bird popularly believed to be a mosquito predator, eat very few mosquitoes. They prefer dragonflies and other insects.
  14. Mosquitoes do not transmit HIV. The virus that causes AIDS does not replicate in mosquitoes and is actually digested in their stomachs, so it's broken down without being passed on.
  15. Bacteria can be used to kill mosquito larvae. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) is a commercially-produced bacteria, that can be placed into water where larvae live and feed.   Mozzie stop Logo Lrg
  16. Insecticides work, but only in the short term. Permethrin, one of the most common chemicals used by local mosquito control programs, kills mosquitoes on contact by disrupting their central nervous systems. However, eggs and larvae often are not affected. Once the insecticide dissipates, mosquitoes can return.
  17. Mosquito traps can kill thousands of mosquitoes in a single night. One study conducted by public health researchers in Australia found that a Mega Catch trap caught and killed more than 44,000 female mosquitoes from 17 species in less than two weeks.
  18. Bug zappers are useless against mosquitoes. Studies have shown that less than 1 percent of the insects killed by zappers are mosquitoes or other biting insects. The devices attract and kill beneficial or harmless insects, like moths, and have no effect on the overall mosquito population. Electronic repellers have also proven ineffective in scientific testing.
  19. Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) that hang over a bed have been shown to reduce malaria incidence among children and pregnant women by up to 50 percent. The nets last only a few years before they have to be replaced.
  20. DEET is considered the 'gold standard' of mosquito repellents.   Endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DEET doesn't mask the smell of the host or jam the insect's senses - mosquitoes simply don't like it because it smells bad to them. A product containing 10 percent DEET can protect you for up to 90 minutes. Two other repellents, picaridin and lemon-eucalyptus oil, have also proven effective and are now recommended by the CDC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists only four chemicals as being effective for repelling mosquitoes: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (or its synthetic version, called PMD) and IR3535.
  21. Midges and crane flies are often mistaken for mosquitoes. Biting midges are smaller, have shorter wings and tend to feed in swarms. Mosquito traps often attract and kill biting midges. Meanwhile, crane flies are much larger than mosquitoes – up to 1 ½ inches long in some cases – and do not bite.
  22. Some scientists think that eliminating mosquitoes wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Others aren’t so sure, though, and worry about the effects on the ecosystem of the loss of an insect that is eaten by spiders, salamanders, frogs, fish and other insects.

Southern Monitoring Services Ltd is 100% Kiwi owned and operated business established in 1995. The company Directors have a strong public health background having qualified and worked in the public sectors of Environmental Health and Health Protection. 
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Southern Monitoring Services 

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