I titled this article, “Little Known Facts About Mosquitoes You Need to Know!” because, according to several web sites such as www.pestbegone.net, “Mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than any other living creature.
” Did you know that? Nearly four million people across the globe die from being stung by mosquitoes that were carrying a disease.
There are an estimated 2,600 species of mosquitoes. Fortunately for us humans, only female mosquitoes sting us because they need the protein to produce their eggs.
And, not all mosquitoes carry diseases. But, the fact remains- because mosquitoes pose such a widespread health threat, there are even more little known facts about mosquitoes you need to know! The more information you know, the more you can protect yourself and your family.
Don’t Let Their Tiny Size Fool You ?
Adult mosquitoes only weigh about two milligrams. Because they are so small, they are generally hard to see. Their tiny wings allow them to fly between one and one-and-a-half miles an hour.
That means, the females can easily travel a wide distance to find warm-blooded humans and animals to feed on.
How Do They Find You?
A little known fact about mosquitoes you need to know is that they have poor eyesight. However, they can still detect movement.
They are attracted to chemicals such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid. They also are attracted to heat and light. That’s how female mosquitoes find their victims.
According to the Fond du Lac Humane Society, mosquitoes will be more attracted to you if you’re wearing the color blue. Darker colored clothing attracts mosquitoes more.
These little bloodsuckers are said to prey on kids more often than adults. They also prefer blondes to brunettes, and people who have stinky feet.
How Do Mosquitoes Bite?
“Skeeters” don’t bite, they sting. First, they inject a anti-coagulant into the body. Then, they use a long proboscis to suck blood from their victims.
It’s thought that female mosquitoes come out at night to feed. A little known fact about mosquitoes you need to know is that they can feed during the daytime as well. Different species of mosquitoes have different feeding habits.
Diseases Mosquitoes Are Known to Spread
There are commonly four diseases these six-legged insects are known to spread: 1) The West Nile Virus, 2) St. Louis Encephalitis, 3) Dengue Fever, and 4) Malaria.
Ever since the West Nile Virus was first found in New York in 1999, it has spread across the United States into forty-one states including Washington, D.C..
The risk of being stung by an infected mosquito is worse in the late summer and early fall. The virus can be treated. However, severe forms of the disease can be fatal.
St. Louis Encephalitis
Another little known fact about mosquitoes you need to know is that St. Louis Encephalitis is the most common type of viral encephalitis found in the United States.
It was so named because of the location of the very first case in 1933. There are an estimated two hundred cases of St. Louis Encephalitis reported annually.
However, it’s not limited to this area. This virus has been found in Central and South America, as well as in the Caribbean.
Just like with the West Nile Virus, the mild symptoms of this viral disease are similar to having the flu.
The third disease that’s carried and spread by mosquitoes is Dengue Fever. Originally, this disease was found in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
In 2002, four cases were found in Maui. More than 2,200 cases of imported Dengue Fever in the United States were reported during the period from 1977 to 1994.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 20,000,000 cases of this disease are reported every year, with about 24,000 deaths.
Approximately three to five million people in Africa, Central America, India, the Middle East,
Oceania, South America and Southern Asia become infected with Malaria annually, and more than a million people die from it.
People in the United States who come down with this disease- more than a thousand cases a year- become infected when they traveled into an area where Malaria is present.
Another little known fact about mosquitoes you need to know is, if you’re planning on traveling to an area where Malaria is a health problem, talk to your doctor about prevention.