March 2, 2016 / Flying Pests

5 Little-Known Facts About Mosquitoes

5 Little-Known Facts About Mosquitoes

It’s that time of the year again – temperatures are rising and everyone’s least favorite pest is on the prowl: the mosquito. Learn more about springtime’s least-lovable insect and go on the offensive before this year’s invasion. The more you know, the more you can protect yourself against bites. For example, did you know...

1. Not All Of Them Bite

A surprising fact about mosquitoes is that only female mosquitoes bite. Male mosquitoes rely on fruit and plant nectar and do not need to drink blood. Female mosquitoes require extra protein before laying eggs. Animal blood offers this protein, and once she has her fill, she will rest for a few days before the eggs are ready.

2. Mosquitoes Like Some People More Than Others

Mosquitoes bite some people more than others. It mostly has to do with CO2 levels, but there are certainly other factors such as clothing color and blood type that will attract mosquitoes to bite certain people more frequently. Studies show that people who exert a higher level of CO2, such as pregnant women and beer drinkers, are more attractive to mosquitoes. Increased CO2 allows the insects to pick up a higher chemical signal, leading them to the host faster.

3. Their Bites Affect People Differently

Some people hardly notice mosquito bites; others react with harsh welts or impossibly itchy bumps. Everyone will itch somewhat after a mosquito bite, but different levels of histamine in the body result in different levels of reaction to the saliva injected while mosquitoes drink.

4. They Carry A Scary New Virus

West Nile and yellow fever have become household names, but there is a new virus is out there to fear. Mosquitoes transmit the chikungunya virus, which results in high fever and joint pain. Outbreaks have occurred in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and will probably spread to America if an infected traveler enters the country.

5. They Are The Deadliest Animal In The World

The Anopheles mosquito carries the malaria virus, responsible for the deaths of more than a million people every year. Those diagnosed with malaria have fever, chills, and flu-like illnesses. If left untreated, infected people develop severe complications, and the disease is usually fatal. This type of mosquito is most common in Africa. Mosquitoes transmit diseases to almost 700 million people per year, resulting in 2 million to 3 million deaths annually.

Guard Yourself Against Mosquitoes This Season

Protect yourself against mosquitoes and the dangerous viruses they carry by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in places with windows or screens. If you’re still unsure about your level of preparedness this season, call the experts at JP Pest Services for advice and tips on dealing with mosquitoes and preventing disease.