Wednesday October 29, 2014
Mosquitoes are a big killer and every month nearly 250,000 people die from mosquito borne diseases. They are a bigger killer than sharks, snakes and crocodiles, yet most people don’t know much about these deadly insects.
- Mosquitoes can drink up to three times their weight in blood.
1.2 million mosquito bites would drain all the blood from an average human body.
- They breed in areas of stagnant water, not running water. It is best to avoid lakes and areas of still water in countries where there is a high risk of Malaria
- What does mosquito stand for? Originated in the 16th century, mosquito means “small fly” in Spanish
- Mosquitoes can smell our breath. Using the receptors on their antennae they can track the carbon dioxide in our breath when we exhale.
- They have just two predators: fish and dragonflies. In the US, dragonflies are sometimes released to control mosquito populations in infested towns.
- Aggressive “skeeters” can kill caribou. In Alaska large swarms of mosquitoes have been known to kill caribou. The caribou die through asphyxiation after inhaling them.
- Mosquito saliva makes us itch. Mosquitoes release a pain-killing saliva when they suck our blood. Most people react to this saliva and the reaction leads to itchy, swollen bites.
- Only female mosquitoes bite. Male mosquitoes are vegetarian, whereas the females often require a blood meal before they can lay eggs.
- The “Elephant” mosquito is the largest mosquito in the world. The Toxorhynchites speciousus mosquito is one and a half inches long and the adults of this species only eat plant matter. The larvae however are predatory and prey on other mosquito larvae.
- Mosquitoes can’t transmit HIV. They digest the virus that causes AIDS in their stomach, therefore it is broken down and not passed on to humans when they bite.