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More About Mosquitoes

   
 

Both male and female mosquitoes feed on flower nectar and fruits, but only the female mosquito bites; she requires a blood meal every three to four days for the protein necessary to produce eggs. Female mosquitoes often consume more than their own weight in blood. Mosquitoes use anticoagulants in their saliva, to prevent blood from clotting and closing a wound so the mosquito can drink it.

  • Aedes mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting dengue and yellow fever, bite mostly during the day.
  • Anopheles and Culex mosquitoes, which transmit malaria and West Nile Virus, bite mostly in the evening or at night.
  • Some mosquitoes prefer feeding on animals, others prefer human blood meals.
  • Some species of mosquito are seasonal biters, and switch from animal to human thereby spreading infections between the two. West Nile Virus, for instance, is spread from birds to humans when a mosquito first bites an infected bird and then, after an incubation period of 5 to 15 days, bites a human and passes the virus into human blood through its saliva.
  • Adults are more likely to be bitten than children, and young adults more likely to be bitten than older adults.
  • Men are more likely to be bitten than women.
  • Larger persons attract more mosquitoes, perhaps because of their greater relative heat or carbon dioxide output.

Mosquitoes belong to the order Diptera. Members of the genera Anopheles, Culex, and Aedes are responsible for most bites in humans


Mosquitoes cause malaria,  West Nile Virus and other diseases! At long range, mosquitoes use sight and smell to find a victim with smell being the most important. Carbon dioxide, given off when you breathe, can be detected by mosquitoes up to a hundred feet away. Lactic acid, given off by muscle activity, is another important mosquito attractant. So if you can stop breathing and all movement, mosquitoes may not notice you!

At close range mosquitoes use body heat and electrical stimuli given off by living things to locate their target. This may be why mosquitoes prefer biting the head and neck, ankles and feet, as the blood vessels are close to the surface in those areas and give off more body heat. In addition, these areas have more sweat gland activity.


 

 

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