Mosquitoes: More than Just Biting Pests

Even if the bite is disease-free, the lasting itch and redness are enough to wish all mosquitoes disappeared forever.

If you have gotten your first mosquito bite of the year and are dreading a season of itching and swatting, call Environmental Pest Management today. We have years of experience ridding homes of biting, crawling, and pestering bugs.

Aedes aegypti Mosquito. Close up a Mosquito sucking human blood,Mosquito Vector-borne diseases,Chikungunya.Dengue fever.Rift Valley fever.Yellow fever.Zika.Mosquito on skin

What are Mosquitoes?

Yes, we all know what mosquitoes are. They are tiny little flying bugs that survive on the blood of mammals. In all, there are around 3,500 different species of mosquitoes on Earth.

Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite? On the other hand, female mosquitoes have to produce eggs and need blood to nourish those eggs.

Only female mosquitoes have the parts in their mouth necessary to suck blood, the proboscis. In this proboscis are two needle-like tubes, and both are inserted into the victim. One injects an enzyme that slows or stops blood clotting, and the other sucks up the blood.

Both male and female mosquitoes eat nectar and other sugar from plants as their food. The blood is only used as a protein to nourish eggs.

Mosquitoes are typically active in the evenings and early mornings. Some breeds are active at night and others during the day.

Mosquitoes find their victims by seeking out carbon dioxide that was exhaled, heat from bodies, or scents. 

Technically, mosquitoes are not parasites. Many people qualify them as such, but a parasite lives on the body of their host. Mosquitoes rely on the blood of their victim but do not live on them.

As annoying as mosquitoes are, there is a silver lining to their presence. Mosquitoes are a common food source for many animals. Everything from birds to bats, frogs to dragonflies enjoys a tasty meal of mosquitoes.

dad and son use mosquito spray.Spraying insect repellent on skin outdoor.

Are Mosquitoes More Attracted to Some People?

No one likes getting bit by a mosquito. However, some people swear they get more mosquito bites than people around them. Is there any truth to this feeling?

Turns out, yes. Mosquitoes are attracted to some people more than others.

Carbon Dioxide

Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. Everyone emits carbon dioxide when they breathe out, but some people emit slightly more. It might depend on the activity they’re doing, or the fact they are pregnant, but it is possible to emit more carbon dioxide.

Furthermore, different species are attracted to different levels of carbon dioxide.

Body Odor

Mosquitoes can smell you. And different people have different smells. Different compounds on our skin and in our sweat give us unique odors. 

Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid and ammonia. Things like genetics and bacteria on your skin, or a combination of both, could cause mosquitoes to be more attracted to you versus your neighbor.

Body Temperature

Our bodies generate a certain level of heat, and that temperature depends on many factors. Some people’s natural body temperature is higher than others.

Furthermore, there is sweat and water vapor near your skin that attracts mosquitoes. Different things affect how much sweat and water vapor there is.

Color

For an unknown reason, mosquitoes are attracted to the color black. Wearing dark clothes seems to attract mosquitoes and their bite.

Alcohol

Unfortunately for anyone enjoying a drink by the pool or on their back deck, mosquitoes seem to be more attracted to people who have been drinking alcohol. In particular, mosquitoes seemed to be attracted to beer drinkers.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy, more blood is circulating in a woman’s body, and her body temperature tends to be higher. Because of these factors, mosquitoes tend to be more attracted to women that are pregnant. Extra mosquito bites: just another fact that makes pregnancy fun.

Mosquitoes and Diseases

It’s no secret that mosquitoes carry an annoying bite. However, that bite is sometimes more than it appears. Mosquitoes carry a variety of diseases, many of which can be fatal.

Mosquitoes and the diseases they carry are responsible for millions of deaths around the world every year. Unfortunately, children and the elderly are more affected by these diseases than adults.  In the fight against infectious diseases, mosquitoes are the number one enemy.

Of the 3,500 species of mosquitoes, most of the diseases humans contract come from only three families.

 

  • Anopheles mosquitoes carry the malaria disease.
  • Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and the West Nile virus.
  • Aedes mosquitoes carry yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.

 

Interestingly enough, mosquitoes don’t only infect their victims through their bites. In cases like yellow fever and dengue, a mosquito contracts the virus from an infected host and passes the virus through it’s saliva to another victim. With malaria, a parasite attaches itself to a female mosquito and enters a human when the mosquito bites.

You need to deal with any sources of standing water to eradicate mosquitoes and their offspring, also known as future biters. Mosquitoes depend on standing water to breed. Removing this breeding ground will drastically limit the number of mosquitoes you see around your home.

Mosquito on a human hand sucking blood

Call Environmental Pest Control

If you seem to get bit more by mosquitoes and want to mosquito-proof your yard, call Environmental Pest Management today. Even if you don’t notice getting bit as often, mosquitoes are not something you want hanging around your next barbecue.

While there are things you can do at home to limit the number of these pests, the best thing you can do is call a professional. Let Environmental Pest Management take care of you and your home.