Tired of Mosquito Bites? 10 Mindblowing Facts About Mosquitoes!
INTERESTING FACTS AND DANGERS OF MOSQUITOES
If the world were to agree on one thing, it would be the fact that mosquitoes are universally hated. We all know by now that mosquitoes thrive under the hot weather, which is why we are more likely to experience these little vampires during summer. We all anticipate summer so much for this tiny unfriendly insect to spoil the vibe.
The warm weather, longer days and the perfect period for sun tanning have one enemy that waits to pounce on preys during this soothing period. Mosquitoes have become a common enemy that cannot be ended even in most developed societies; not to mention popular they are in underdeveloped communities. Living in tropical regions with the allure of nature would be amazing; however, you face the likelihood of becoming regular dinner for these blood-sucking pests!
While we all go about our jobs and try to have fun, these pesky creatures only see us as prey just as they do to every locomotive animal. Why do they do this?
We took our time to investigate these blood-loving, pesky creatures and in the process we found some interesting facts that we believe everyone should know about mosquitoes!
1. It's Only The Females!
Mosquitoes don't mean any harm when they come for your blood. Yeah, seriously, they don't. All they need is protein for the eggs they carry, and they need a blood meal to get this alongside other vital compounds. When they don't need to reproduce, they stick to feeding on nectar.
The male mosquitoes, on the other hand, do not need to reproduce, so they don't feed on blood at all. They stick entirely to nectar from flowers.
So as irritating as they are they really don’t mean any harm. However in my opinion, I would still prefer if they weren’t around.
2. Some mosquitoes avoid feeding on humans
Apart from male mosquitoes that feed strictly on nectar, some species of mosquitoes prefer to feed entirely on other animals rather than humans. Example of such is the Culiseta melanura, which is a species that almost totally feeds on birds and rarely bite humans.
The Uranotaenia sapphirina is another mosquito species that prefer to feed on amphibians and reptiles rather than humans.
3. Mosquitoes need water to breed but not necessarily much
If you want to avoid mosquitoes breeding around your home or anywhere you stay, you need to avoid leaving still water around for long. The reason for this is because a female mosquito only requires a few inches of still water to deposit her eggs. A tiny Mosquito larva usually develops fast in environments that have old tires laying around in vacant spaces, birdbaths and roof gutters.
However, some species of mosquito can breed in puddles of water left after a rainfall.
4. Mosquitoes Are Deadly
When you hear deadly, what comes to your mind? Tigers? Lions? Sharks? Well, know certainly today that it is no other than the mosquito which is referred to as the deadliest animal in the world. As hard as that may be to believe, it is indeed a fact that these little flying insects are the most dangerous animal in the world. Mosquitoes are responsible for more deaths in the world than any other animal. A study done by the World Health Organization, estimated more than 725,000 people worldwide are killed by mosquito-borne diseases every year.
These insects are vectors for deadly diseases and can transmit them directly in the blood stream of a human. Some of the diseases commonly associated with mosquitoes include: dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and fever. They also play host to heartworm which is deadly to dogs.
5. Mosquitoes detect CO2 around their vicinity
If you have always wondered how mosquitoes sense your presence whenever you are around, we can tell you it's not witchcraft. Mosquitoes sense the presence of a potential blood meal as far as 75 feet around the prey's location. They do this through their sensitivity to CO2.
We all know humans release CO2 in their breath, and to the mosquito this is their primary signal.
The female mosquito hovers around the vicinity in which she sensed the CO2 until she finds the exact location of her prey.
6. Some people are immune to Mosquito saliva
A mosquito’s proboscis glides into the skin after being lubricated by the mosquito saliva. This mosquito saliva is responsible for the swollen bumps on the skin, as well as the itching that comes along with a mosquito bite. However, studies have shown that not everyone is allergic to the mosquito’s saliva. Studies have even further demonstrated that some people can avoid mosquito bites as their sweat is a repellant for mosquitoes.
7. Mosquitoes are not as fast as you think
We know many people feel like this insect is as fast as a vampire and disappear with the speed of light. However, we can tell you that if there were an insect Olympics, the mosquito would probably come last. The mosquito is actually quite a slow flying insect.
These deadly little bloodsuckers only average about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour when flying. This speed level is significantly lower than that of a butterfly and a host of other insects such as the locusts and honeybees.
8. Mosquitoes live for months before they die
Apart from the fact that we try our best to cut short the lives of these buggers, they tend to live for months while enjoying life. An adult mosquito is likely to live for 5-6 months on the average. An adult female mosquito lives between two to three weeks.
They do not live forever; they produce so much that they continually need to feed so much and they find you to bite you. So don't worry about one particular mosquito tormenting you for too long.
9. Mosquitoes are almost impossible to wipe out
Mosquitoes are a species that have survived for millions of years. The reason for this is because they are practically impossible to wipe out. These pesky creatures will continue to exist as long as they have food, which is as much as saying as long as humans and flowers live, and they don't have any significant environmental condition that seems to affect them.
The mosquito larvae consume detritus in the water, which is also helpful to the water as it keeps it clean. More than 3,000 species of mosquitoes exist with only about 200 species discovered to bite humans. Mosquitoes can also be eaten by some other animals such as birds, some amphibians and fishes in water; however, this isn't a danger to them. Mosquitoes also serve as pollinators for some other species.
10. Science has benefited from the existence of mosquitoes
This statement sounds a little bit weird right? Yeah, we know. However, it is correct. The proboscis in a mosquito is what it uses to suck on the human blood, as well as that of other animals it preys on. Scientists have found a way to design needles that are less-painful for the hypodermic region of the skin.
They have found a way to make insertion of needles into the skin much more comfortable and have come up with better ways to insert tiny electrodes into the brain, all through the study of the proboscis of the mosquito.
Dangers of mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are human's universal enemy. They don't directly contribute anything good for the human body. Mosquitoes have been known to cause deadly diseases such as Malaria. Malaria is a fatal disease transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito as discovered in 1897 by a medical professional.
The mosquito has been named as the most deadly animal in the world by various scientists. The reason for this isn't by the direct it causes but because it can serve as a host for fatal diseases and in turn pass it to the human blood through a bite.
The female mosquitoes are the primary transmitters of these diseases as they pass fluid into the human body in the process of sucking out the blood for their good.
Mosquitoes are not just a danger to us humans, but also our pets at home. Our animals are at risk of getting infected by deadly parasites that can lead to death in some cases. An example of such is the heartworm, which causes terrible heart problems for the animals if not quickly treated or even death in extreme cases.
Since mosquitoes love moist and humid conditions, it has been studied that about 10 percent of the world population of mosquitoes dwell in North America.
Some of the most common diseases in which mosquitoes can transmit to humans and animals that are already discovered include;
Malaria – The malaria disease is one that has killed millions around the world, particularly in Africa. The disease which was eradicated from the United States in the 40s is treatable but also preventable. It is introduced into the body through a parasite which is carried by the Anopheles mosquito.
This parasite is released into the blood and goes to infect the red blood cells. The body begins to react to this, and it can only be stopped by taking anti-malaria measures through drugs or injections. Malaria symptoms include muscle pain, nausea, extreme sweating, and in some cases putting a patient in a coma. Severe malaria cases can come along with symptoms such as cerebral swelling, severe anemia or pulmonary edema.
West Nile Virus (WNV) – WNV can be a deadly disease if not quickly and adequately treated. A disease discovered in Uganda in 1937. Its symptoms include aching of the body, fever, headache, and sometimes stiffness of the neck.
The Zika Virus – the zika virus was discovered in 1947 and got its name from a forest in Uganda. It is currently under investigation as the cause of some congenital disabilities. Its symptoms include skin rash, fever and a short stint of conjunctivitis.
Yellow fever – this disease is spread through mosquito bites and is mostly found in tropical regions. The symptoms include fever, nausea, headache, fatigue, and vomiting. It can lead to heart, liver or kidney issues if not properly treated.
Heartworm – this is a parasite that affects animals. It is a roundworm passed around through mosquito bites on animals, and it lives in the heart of the host where it grows. It is of more danger in canines.
Massive Mosquito infestations should be prevented through fumigation of the environment. Avoid accumulation of still water around the home. Also, use treated nets while sleeping in environments with mosquitoes.
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