|National Mosquito Control Awareness Week|
|Here are a few ideas on how you can get the word out:
|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
|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.