Where and when do mosquitoes breed?
Most mosquitoes lay their eggs directly into the water. Others lay their eggs near bodies of water but not within them. Eggs will hatch into larvae within 24 to 48 hours.
It is recommended that you should empty, drain or cover all things that can and may hold water.
It is said that mosquitoes are attracted to shrubs, bushes and flower plants. Is it true?
Since mosquitoes largely feed on flower nectar and plant juices, they usually hang around them. Further, mosquitoes prefer to rest in protected sites during the day, when they are not feeding. Shrubs and bushes are a safe hideout from predators (mainly birds) who feed on mosquitoes.
If you have too much of dense vegetation in your garden, it would be a good idea to spray soapy water on them to reduce mosquito population or remove unnecessarily crowded bushes.
How do mosquitoes find humans around? Can they smell blood?
We all know that humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes have receptors on their antennae that can detect the released carbon dioxide from as far off a distance of 50-75 feet. Mosquitoes can also smell the human sweat. Our skin releases a chemical called octenol which attract this little fly. The little fly is also known to be attracted towards skin lotions and perfume.
Mosquitoes are also equipped with heat sensors around their mouthparts which can detect body heat. You might have heard that mosquitoes are drawn towards darker clothing. The fundamental reason is that dark clothes retain more heat as compared to light coloured clothing and it is this heat that attracts them.
It is also important to use recommended mosquito repellent creams or lotions as they mask the different smells our bodies emit and are effectively invisible to the mosquito.
Few Facts about Mosquitoes
Do all Mosquitoes Bite?
Male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar alone, while females extract the blood of hosts in order to develop and nourish eggs. Blood is a good food source of sustenance for adult female mosquitoes, rich in protein and packed with calories. The male mosquito does not feed on blood. Instead, he survives on the sugars present in plant nectar.
How high can a mosquito fly?
Don’t you see mosquitoes in high rise buildings? Height is not an issue for mosquitoes. In general, mosquitoes that bite humans prefer to fly at heights of less than 25 feet. However, mosquitoes are found breeding in tree holes 50 feet above the ground. They are even found thriving in high-rise apartment buildings.
How long does a Mosquito live?
The length of the mosquito life cycle varies between species and is dependent upon environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture. While male mosquitoes have a shorter life span of around 10 days (they are not harmful anyway), a female adult mosquito which is harmful can live up to as long as 5-6 months, their average life span being around 2 months.
How far can mosquitoes go?
Mosquitoes generally have a tendency to hang around their breeding location and would normally operate within 50-100 meters. However, in the quest for food (blood and nectar), they may travel distances. Mosquitoes breeding on salt marshes are known to travel as far as 100-150 km. Mosquitoes can even cross continents by sitting in your travel bag.
Can mosquitoes spread AIDs?
No, they can’t. A mosquito’s mouth parts do not operate like a hypodermic needle. The tube which injects saliva on our skin is separate from the one which sucks blood. Therefore blood only flows into the mosquito and not out of it.