Mosquito Facts

Mosquito

Mosquito Facts

Mosquitoes find hosts by sight (they observe movement); by detecting infra-red radiation emitted by warm bodies; and by chemical signals (mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and lactic acid, among other chemicals) at distances of 25 to 35 meters.

•    The average mosquito takes in about 5-millionths of a liter of blood during feeding.
•    Bigger people are often more attractive to mosquitoes because they are larger targets and they produce more mosquito attractants, namely CO2 and lactic acid.
•    In order to obtain energy, both male and female mosquitoes feed upon plant nectars – much in the same manner as honeybees.
•    Blondes tend to be more attractive to mosquitoes than brunettes.
•    Women are usually more attractive to mosquitoes than men because of the difference in hormones produced by the sexes.
•    Salt marsh mosquitoes can migrate up to 40 miles for a meal.
•    A full moon increased mosquito activity 500% in one study.
•    Black is the most attractive color to mosquitoes, followed closely by red. Greys and blues have neutral attractancy. Khaki, green, light khaki, and yellow are not attractive, with white being the least attractive color to mosquitoes.
•    Mosquito species preferring to breed around the house, like the Asian Tiger Mosquito, have limited flight ranges of about 300 feet. Most species have flight ranges of 1-3 miles.
•    Asian Tiger Mosquitoes have been found breeding in tree-holes over 40 feet above ground.
•    Mosquitoes have been found breeding up to 14,000 feet in the Himalayas and 2000 feet underground in mines in India.
•    Most adult female mosquitoes live 2-3 weeks, during which time they can feed 4 or 5 times, laying eggs after each meal. Some species that overwinter in garages, culverts and attics can live as long as 6 months.
 

Problems of Alternative Mosquito Control Methods:

The American Mosquito Control Association has a number of serious concerns about Mosquito Misting Systems and discourages their use. This is why: 1. Unnecessary use of insecticide or chemicals. 2. The indiscriminate killing of beneficial insect populations and other non-target organisms. 3. Promotion of insecticide resistance. 4. Risk of pesticide exposure. 5. Incompatible with integrated pest management practices (additional methods are neglected). 6. Lack of efficacy data (there is little to demonstrate that these systems actually work).
•    There are no set-and-forget mosquito trap devices. Each requires maintenance: propane tanks need replacement, capture nets need emptying, adhesive boards require replacement, and grids require cleaning.
•    Depending upon their placement, wind direction, and inherent trapping efficiency, traps may actually draw more mosquitoes into an area than they can possibly catch.
•    There is no documented study to show that bats, purple martins, or other predators consume enough adult mosquitoes to provide any meaningful reduction in biting pressure.
 

Mosquito-Borne Diseases:

•    There are 176 species of mosquito in the United States. At least 62 of these have been found infected with the West Nile Virus (WNV). WNV is transmitted from infected birds to humans by mosquitoes. There are thousands of WNV cases and hundreds of deaths nationally each year. Severe cases are marked by the occurrence of convulsions, paralysis, coma, and/or death.
•    Mosquitoes are the only known means of transmission of the causal agents of malaria, yellow fever, some types of encephalitis, dengue, and filariasis. The malaria parasite has been responsible for half of all human deaths since the Stone Age. Today, it sickens 300 million every year despite the fact that we know how to prevent it.
•    Over 1 million people die from mosquito-borne diseases every year.
•    Mosquitoes transmit dog heart-worm, and Eastern equine encephalitis.

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