Introduction to the Mosquito
The word “mosquito” is Spanish for “little fly”. And while the insect may be small, it is well known for its big, itchy bite.
Mosquitoes are summertime pests. They ruin barbecues, late night strolls by the lake, and quiet evenings relaxing on the porch. The annoying sound of the bug zapper or the unpleasant smell of insect repellent is enough to turn any fun outdoor evening event into a sheltered indoor activity. Mosquitoes lurk around looking for a human or animal “host” from which they can suck blood. Their bites are very itchy and can leave the skin irritated for a few days.
Mosquitoes, however, are more than just a summertime nuisance. Some carry dangerous diseases that are transmittable to humans. These diseases include West Nile virus (also see our article about The History of West Nile Virus), malaria, encephalitis, and dengue fever.
What do they look like?
There are over 2,700 different species of mosquitoes buzzing throughout the world. These insects are generally ¼ to ½ inch long and brown in color. They are thin, long-legged, and winged.
Where do they live?
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and therefore, their habitats are usually found near lakes and ponds. They may also live closer to your home than you would like. They have been found in clogged gutters, old tires filled with water, fountains, and swimming pools that are not chlorinated.
Did you know…?
Many would be interested to know that only the female mosquito sucks blood. They need the proteins found in animal and human blood to reproduce. The males, on the other hand, get their nourishment from plant nectars.
Articles of Interest:
The History of the
West Nile Virus