Six Facts to Know about Mosquitoes
Ever tried spending some time outdoors and the next thing you know, you’re getting mosquito bites on your body? Their itchy, irritating bites can ruin your outdoor experience while making you avoid the outdoor entirely.
Whenever you take some measures such as applying mosquito repellent or cover up your skin, they can still bite you on areas that you missed. And when you try to catch or swat them, they fly off immediately and disappear into thin air.
If you have a habit of leaving your windows slightly open while you sleep, the sound of them buzzing in your ear will agitate you to the point you can no longer fall back asleep. Besides, you probably know that these biting insects are the bane of the modern world. Ahead, we’re sharing some interesting facts about mosquitoes.
1. World’s deadliest animal
When you hear this term, you’ll probably think of fierce, wild animals such as tigers, sharks, crocodiles, etc. But in fact, the mosquito is the world’s deadliest animal as they’re known to spread some of the deadliest diseases such as the Zika virus, malaria, and dengue.
Among the 3,500 species of mosquitoes known to humankind, only three are responsible for the spread of human diseases. They are the Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Anopheles gambiae.
In Singapore, the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are considered the number one public enemy after causing quite a stir in the past year. The cumulative number of dengue cases in 2020 stands at over 35,000 – more than twice of the total cases (over 15,000) in 2019.
2. Bloodsucking creatures
Generally, we associate all types of mosquitoes as bloodsucking creatures. While it’s not wrong to assume so, only female mosquitoes have the necessary mouthparts to suck blood.
When female mosquitoes bite using their proboscis, they stab two tubes into our skin – one to inject blood clotting enzyme and the other to suck our blood into their bodies. This may cause you to feel a slight sting (that’s if your body has developed to become sensitive to mosquitoes).
Besides, female mosquitoes use the blood not to nourish themselves but as a source of protein for their eggs. They generally feed on nectar and plant sugars as food.
3. CO2 dependence
There’s a reason why you get bitten when you spend time outdoors. That’s because mosquitoes use carbon dioxide, body odour, and temperature to locate their victims.
Mosquitoes use a special organ known as the maxillary palp to follow the smell of carbon dioxide that our breath release. So, if you exercise excessively when you’re outdoors or at the park, you can expect some mosquito bites after that.
The average lifespan of a mosquito is two weeks to six months, depending on the species and environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture. If you wonder why their lifespan isn’t short, you’ll need to understand their lifecycle.
For the female Aedes mosquito, once they lay their eggs in standing water, the eggs can hatch into larvae in less than a day. The larvae then take about four days to develop into a pupa, from which an adult mosquito will emerge after two days. After it has taken some blood, adult female mosquitoes will lay their eggs and the cycle repeats.
5. Greedy pests
We know how mosquitoes tend to feed on our blood when we’re unaware of their presence. But did you know that they can drink more blood than their body can handle?
While studies have revealed that mosquitoes can drink three times their body weight, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re some greedy pests. If you happen to notice a mosquito sucking on your blood, remember to swat it off you.
6. Mosquito control
While mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures on earth, their population can be controlled to reduce the spread of fatal diseases.
Since female mosquitoes need water to breed, population control efforts usually involve removal or treatment of standing water sources. Not only that, but the spraying of insecticide to control the population of these mosquitoes is also widespread.
Such efforts can be seen in and around Singapore in the past year, in the government’s attempt to prevent the spread of dengue. However, such efforts may not be sufficient to stop the spread of mosquitoes.
Should you have a problem with mosquito infestation at your house or your neighbourhood, PestBusters offers an integrated pest management programme which is designed to fully eliminate mosquitoes from your space.
Among the strategies we use to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds are larviciding, BTI (Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis) and misting.
So, do not wait too long to contact us as you may prolong the chance of mosquitoes breeding in and around your house. Contact us at General Hotline: (+65) 6288 2828, 24-hour Assistance Hotline: (+65) 9180 9990 or enquire online today for professional mosquito prevention!