The heading may look like a foreign language but it’s really a scientific name for a common pest we know as the mosquito - Spanish for little fly.
Around for 300 million years with over 2700 different species, although most mosquitoes breed by laying their eggs in fresh or standing water but some lay eggs above water in areas prone to flooding. It takes 7 to 14 days to produce a new generation that lives for one to several weeks although they do survive winter in cool damp places until they can emerge to lay their eggs in spring.
Worst during dusk and dawn (they dry out during the heat of the day) they fly at approximately 1.5 miles per hour so a breeze helps. Most "skeeters" only travel about a mile in their lifetime, but some species are capable of ranging 75 to 100 miles.
Only the female bites (males live off plant nectar) and will consume about 5 millionths of a litre (to get protein for her eggs). The bite helps spread diseases such as West Nile, encephalitis, yellow fever, dengue and malaria. Although most are restricted to warmer climates malaria has been detected in Michigan and New York City and West Nile and encephalitis have been found in colder climates.
They find victims by detecting carbon dioxide and lactic acid in your breath (from up to 36 meters away) and are attracted to some of the 300 odd chemicals found in skin. With heat sensors they detect infrared light from your body as well as targeting movement and color contrast. The "itch" people experience is caused by the saliva and anti coagulants left behind when they bite. While you can use bug sprays to confuse their sense of smell there are over 50 species that are resistant to at least one insecticide.
There are good things about mosquitoes too! They provide food for swallows, purple martins, bats and other insects and they drive most people crazy enough to consider closing in their deck or adding a sunroom which is good for our business! If you would like more info call us at 940-3030 or visit our factory at 265 Sutherland Avenue.