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Interesting Facts About Mosquitoes Every Homeowner Should Know

“Mosquitoes are the least of anyone’s worries,” said no one ever! Everyone can agree these pests are a nuisance. A single bite is enough to drive you to rid your them from your property entirely.

Learning how to prevent and control mosquitoes is one of the critical ways to keep your home safe. For this reason, we’ve shared 15 facts about mosquitoes, including their habits and effective mosquito control methods.

15 Intriguing Facts About Mosquitoes

1. Mosquitoes are disease carriers

There are over 3000 mosquito species worldwide and at least 200 species in the U.S. Out of all these, three species are responsible for the deaths of more than one million people.

  • The Anopheles species carry malaria, encephalitis, and filariasis
  • The Culex species transmit the West Nile virus and encephalitis
  • The Aedes species transmits the Zika virus, yellow fever, and Chikungunya virus

According to the centers for disease control and prevention, the West Nile virus is a common mosquito-borne illness in continental areas like Florida. Fortunately, no cases have been reported about the Zika virus in Florida since 2018.

2. Mosquitoes lifespan varies per species

Adult mosquitoes can live for almost six months. However, females usually live for about three weeks. Those that hibernate in your home during winter can live for nearly six months.

3. One of the Most Interesting Facts about Mosquitoes – Only the female mosquitoes bite!

One surprising fact about mosquitoes is that only the female mosquitoes bite humans and animals. These species need this blood as it provides the nutrients necessary to lay eggs.

When feeding, the female mosquito uses a maxillary palp, an organ that detects CO2 and body temperature. In comparison, the male species lack this organ. Male mosquitoes are pollinators and, as a result, feed on flower nectar.

4. Mosquitoes are slow flyers

Now you are probably thinking, why is it so hard to swat one if mosquitoes are slow flyers? Well, mosquitoes are indeed slow-moving with a speed of about 1.2 miles per hour. Insects such as butterflies and honeybees are, in fact, faster.

However, similar to flies, mosquitoes have multifaceted eyes that give them a comprehensive view. A mosquito makes decisions more quickly than the average human.

Yes, you read that right! Before hitting the mosquito, a signal must travel from your brain to your hand to trigger the swatting motion. As for a mosquito, any sudden movement pushes an alert to its wing muscles in less than a nanosecond!

5. A mosquito’s wings beat up to 600 times per second

A joint study by UC Berkely and Wageningen University researchers found that mosquitoes can flap their wings about 600 times in a second, even after having a blood meal. According to this study, mosquitoes also have long legs that let them accelerate much faster than other insects that beat 200 times per second.

6. Mosquito buzz sound comes from their wings

The buzzing sound you’ll hear when a mosquito is close to you comes from their wings beating. For a fact, the reason you’ll sense their buzz around your ear is because they fly close to your head, where you exhale the most carbon dioxide.

7. Water is a necessary breeding ground for mosquitoes

Mosquito larvae are aquatic, hence why mosquitoes need standing water to breed. Unfortunately, they don’t require a lot of it, and a few inches are enough for these insects to reproduce. Even the shallowest places that hold water, such as birdbaths and gutters, can facilitate breeding.

8. Mosquitoes are picky

Surprisingly, some individuals are more susceptible to mosquito bites. Researchers have found two reasons that could explain this preference.

  • Genetics – One study revealed that people with type O blood are more attracted to mosquitoes than those with type A.
  • Body odor – Researchers found that the stinky Limburger cheese would appeal to the Anopheles species. Interestingly, the production of this cheese variety utilizes the bacteria that causes human feet odor. Perhaps this is why it’s so common to see the anopheles bite people around their ankles.

9. Mosquitoes rely on a chemical signal to stop feeding

A study on blood meal size found that female mosquitoes rely on their abdominal receptors to determine their blood meal size. Without this signal, mosquitoes would feed until they burst.

10. Mosquitoes will match their wing beats to find a mate

When looking for mates, mosquitoes will synchronize their wings to match that of their potential mating partner.

11. Bug zappers are not effective at killing these bloodsuckers

Despite what you may believe, bug zappers don’t kill mosquitoes. Studies show these devices end up killing beneficial bugs, like moths. It all boils down to one reason. Bug zappers emit light and not CO2.

12. Mosquito prevention is possible

Several preventive measures can help to safeguard your yard and house from an invasion. These include:

  • Getting rid of standing water
  • Routinely clean and unclog areas that trap water
  • Cover your swimming pool and treat it often
  • Fit mosquito nets/screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your house

13. There are natural ways to repel mosquitoes

Safe mosquito control methods exist. These include:

  • Essential oils like cinnamon and garlic. However, these require regular reapplication because they evaporate.
  • Catnip
  • Citronella candles
  • Herbal plants like rosemary, mint, and basil

14. Chemical mosquito repellents are another effective method for mosquito control

Insect repellents and mosquito sprays containing the chemical DEET and picaridin are effective and safe for keeping mosquitoes away.

15. Pest Control Services are your best option for getting rid of mosquitoes fully

While natural and chemical repellents effectively control the mosquito populations, only a professional exterminator can eliminate your mosquito problem.

McDonald Pest Control understands how vital outdoor activities in your yard are to you and your family. Our team is knowledgeable and experienced in mosquito control and treatment services. Do not wait until there’s an invasion of your property. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.