It’s Mosquito Day here on 10Awesome! Earlier in the day, we published an article about 10 natural mosquito repellents for those who want to embrace a more natural alternative to the harmful DEET repellents. Now it’s time to learn a bit about these pesky insects that have been bugging us ever since man has developed feet and walked on land. You know what they say: know your enemy, because that’s the only way you’re going to be able to beat it. Although, chances are they’ll outlive us all! Without further ado, here are 10 facts about mosquitoes, so read on and enjoy!
10. They Require Water to Breed
And they don’t need much of it! Only a small rain puddle is enough for a female to deposit her 200 eggs. If you want your house to be haunted by as few mosquitoes as possible, make sure you don’t have any water around it. Check your roof gutters and any pots or pans outside the house. Do you have bird baths on your lawn? Mosquitoes love them!
9. They can Detect Carbon Dioxide from 75 Feet Away
Humans and animals produce carbon dioxide with their breath and this gas is what tells mosquitoes where they can find their next meal. Once a mosquito detects CO2 in the air, it will fly back and forth until it finds its victim. They can detect the stuff from up to 75 feet away!
8. Only Females Feed on Blood
Did you know that only female mosquitoes feed on blood? It’s true. They need protein for their eggs and cannot reproduce without feeding. Male mosquitoes are much more delicate and feed on pollen. The next time you’re planning to throw swear words at the insect, use a feminine pronoun. But, when females aren’t trying to lay eggs, they’ll also stick to pollen.
7. They Don’t Like Chocolate
Mosquitoes apparently hate the smell of chocolate. They don’t know how to appreciate the good things in life, do they? They don’t like the smell because it actually stuns their carbon dioxide sensors which makes it hard for them to find their next meal.
6. They’re Slow Insects
Mosquitoes might appear as if they’re flying fast, but in the insect world, they’re very slow, almost the slowest of all the insects. They weigh around 2 milligrams and fly at speeds between 1 and 1.5 miles per hour. Not too impressive!
5. They Get Viruses, Too
One of the most fascinating facts about mosquitoes is that they both spread and contract viruses. Poor things, right?! For example, the dengue virus will also affect the mosquitos, making them thirstier for blood. Yes, the virus changes the genes of the mosquitoes! That’s one creepy virus that knows what it wants.
4. Their Spit Makes Us Itch
It’s not their bite that makes us itch, it’s the spit they leave behind. A mosquito will leave spit on the spot they’ve bitten to prevent the blood from coagulating. Yes, their spit is a very powerful anticoagulant. Most people have a natural immune response to their spit, which causes the dreaded reaction of itching.
3. The Buzzing
Mosquitoes make that annoying buzzing sound with their wings. But the sound they make isn’t just another way to annoy us; it is actually a very important tool for their reproduction. The female mosquitoes are larger and they flap their wings slower and males use this information to find themselves a mate.
2. Mosquitoes Live for Half a Year
That’s how much an adult mosquito lives: around 5 or 6 months. That is if they don’t enter our homes and get viciously killed by us. By insect standards, a mosquito lives for quite a long time, but they’re pests and pests do have a tendency to be more resilient.
1. They’re the Deadliest Creatures in the World
Sharks aren’t the biggest killers of our day! The mosquitoes are the most lethal creatures on this planet. Did you know that they have caused the most deaths? More than any other animals have? They’re responsible for malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, dengue fever and many other diseases. One mosquito carrying the malaria virus will infect up to 100 people. On the African continent, this horrible disease kills a child every 45 seconds.
Are there any other facts about mosquitoes you would like to share with us? If you have some super cool thing you want to tell us, drop us a line in the comment section below, we’d love to hear about it!