All About Mosquito Facts
When most people think of mosquitoes, they think of that annoying mosquito sound and that even more annoying mosquito bite. Believe it or not, there is much more to mosquitoes than you think—and you're about to learn all those mosquito facts!
If you're like most people, you're so busy swatting when you see a mosquito that you've never had the time to examine one. At a glimpse, mosquitoes look like angry little critters that want nothing more than to suck your blood and make your itchy skin miserable. While that might be true in a sense, here are some of the mosquito facts you may have missed while you were busy trying to kill that dreaded mosquito.
- The three main parts of a mosquito are its head, its abdomen, and its thorax
- A mosquito has two eyes that make up the majority of its head. Each eye is filled with little lenses so it can see from multiple directions at once—making it difficult to swat that dreaded mosquito
- A mosquito has one pair of wings coming off its thorax
- A mosquito has six legs
- Upon close inspection, a mosquito's abdomen has distinct markings that make it possible to tell which species it is
- Mosquitoes are approximately 16 millimeters long
- The average weight of a mosquito is about 2.5 milligrams
Did you ever notice any of those mosquito facts before? If not, you'll be sure to notice them the next time you hear that annoying mosquito sound!
Mosquito Gender Roles
You may think all mosquitoes are out to get you, but that's not true. Similar to other insect species like the praying mantis, only female mosquitoes are a threat to humans. As you read through the differences between female mosquitoes and male mosquitoes, be prepared for some surprises!
- Both male and female mosquitoes eat flower nectar for nourishment
- Female mosquitoes bite humans and animals so they can receive protein. This protein helps them lay eggs, thus bringing more blood-sucking mosquitoes into the world
- A female mosquito has a ridged proboscis to pierce human and animal skin. Because of the serrated edges of her proboscis, her bite usually goes undetected until the itchiness sets in
- A male mosquito has a proboscis, but it does not have ragged edges for biting
- Male mosquitoes are slightly smaller than females
- Only female mosquitoes make that annoying mosquito sound that puts you on red alert
It's amazing to see the difference gender can make, isn't it? Now you can rest at ease when you see a mosquito that doesn't make noise and only save your jumping for those pesky females that love to buzz before they bite.
The most important mosquito fact that people usually want to know is how to get rid of that dreaded mosquito in the first place. There are many mosquito control products on the market, but you should certainly keep some tips in mind before you go on a mosquito prevention shopping spree!
- Mosquito repellant lotion and mosquito spray can certainly keep mosquitoes from biting you, but you must be sure to reapply often if you are outside in a highly populated mosquito area
- Mosquito fog can help reduce the number of mosquitoes on your property, but this is not the best solution for the environment
- Mosquito sprays (especially aerosol ones) are effective, but they are bad for the environment
- Garlic mosquito repellant is fairly effective
- Mosquito net fabric can be used to surround your bed, gazebo, or favorite chair. Just remember that the second you step out from under the fabric, you are at risk again
- Mosquito zappers may be popular, but they very rarely capture mosquitoes
- Mosquito traps such as Mega-Catch can lure and trap mosquitoes using UV lighting, C02, octenol, and heat
No matter what type of mosquito prevention and control methods you use, remember that the best mosquito trap is the kind that is as effective as it is safe for you, your family, and the environment.
Even though your first instinct when you see a mosquito is to kill it and make it history, you may be surprised to learn a bit about the real history of mosquitoes. Here is a quick tutorial on mosquito evolution and history:
- Mosquitoes were around in the Jurassic era when dinosaurs ran free
- Scientists believe that mosquitoes originated in South Africa and eventually spread to the rest of the world
- Mosquitoes have evolved to the point where there are approximately 2,700 different species of mosquitoes
- Ancient mosquitoes were up to three times larger than today's mosquitoes
- The word mosquito means "biting fly"
- Some cultures associate mosquitoes with reincarnations of dead people
Mosquito Feeding Facts
Have you ever felt like a mosquito went out of its way to bite you? If so, there's a good chance you were right. Here are some of the reasons a mosquito may choose to target you:
- Mosquitoes are more attracted to women than men
- If given the choice, mosquitoes would usually rather drink blood from a blonde
- Mosquitoes like to aim for moving targets
- Many mosquitoes target people in dark clothing
- Mosquitoes are more prone to attacking people and animals during a full moon
Random Mosquito Facts
As irritating as they may be, mosquitoes can be quite fascinating—as long as they're not biting you.
- When female mosquitoes drink blood, they purify the blood in their systems and leave a small puddle of urine on their victim's skin. That is why when you first get bit, you may notice a small wet spot surrounding the bite
- On average, female mosquitoes drink from 0.001 to 0.1 millimeters of blood per feeding
- Even though they seem to move quickly, the average mosquito can only fly up to 1.5 miles per hour
- Mosquitoes cannot fly too high; they fly somewhere between 25 and 40 feet up in the air
- Most mosquito species can only fly about 300 feet before they need to rest
- Mosquitoes from salt marshes can fly up to 40 miles for their next meal
- When a mosquito flies, it flaps its wings between 400 and 700 times per second
- Mosquito saliva has some of the same ingredients as rat poison
- Any fans of mosquitoes can go to the annual Great Texas Mosquito Festival, where mosquitoes are honored in the strangest of ways
There you have it. Mosquitoes too often are only known for their bites, but now that you've read these mosquito facts, you know much more about mosquitoes than you ever thought you would. So remember your trivia, tell your friends, and the next time you see a mosquito, be happy that you can at least be more knowledgeable as you swat it.
Mosquito Facts from National Geographic
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.