Think you know mosquitoes? Although they're some of the most universally hated insects in the world, they actually lead pretty interesting lives. Here's what you might not know about your least-favorite flying pests.
They Breed in Water (And They Don't Need Much)
You probably know that mosquitoes reproduce by laying their eggs in standing water. What you might not know is that a female mosquito typically lays eggs in batches of 100 to 200, and she can do so in as little as an inch of water. They hatch into larvae in just 24 to 48 hours, and can then emerge as adult mosquitoes in as little as two days. That's why one of the best ways to reduce mosquitoes near your home is to get rid of standing water.
Only Female Mosquitoes Bite
It's true. Every mosquito you've ever been bitten by has been a girl. Male mosquitoes sustain themselves on plant juices and nectar, but females need protein—which they get from blood—for their eggs to develop.
Mosquitoes Can See You... And Smell You
Mosquitoes find hosts by sight, as well as by sensing the infrared radiation emitted by warm bodies. They can also "smell" the CO2 all animals produce from as far away as 75 feet. Humans give off more infrared and exhale more CO2 when they're active, which is part of the reason why you get bitten more when you're moving. Mosquitoes also have a taste for lactic acid, which is contained in sweat.
Mosquitoes Are More Deadly Than Sharks
Because of the wide range of infectious diseases mosquitoes can transmit—malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, Zika and encephalitis just to name a few—mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than any other animal on earth. They can even transmit heartworm to dogs, making them some of the leading culprits in canine illness.
They Love a Full Moon
Here's a spooky fact for you: several studies have linked the full moon to higher mosquito activity. One possible reason for this is that a full moon produces a higher tide, which means more breeding grounds for mosquitoes. One study suggested that the full moon may increase mosquito activity by as much as 500 percent.
There Are More Than 2,000 Species of Mosquitoes
In total, approximately 2,700 species of mosquitoes have been identified worldwide. We have 176 species here in the US, the most common of which are Aedes, Culex and Anopheles.
Charlotte, NC Has a Real Mosquito Problem
A study from 2019 found that two North Carolina metropolitan areas ranked among the worst in the nation for mosquitoes. One was the Raleigh/Durham area, and the other was Charlotte. Wondering who topped the list? Let's just say you should bring plenty of bug spray if you're planning a trip to Atlanta this summer.
Ready to learn more about mosquitoes, and how to get rid of them from your backyard in the Charlotte area? Contact us at Thomas Pest Control today to talk to our team or schedule an appointment.