HOW TO IDENTIFY MOSQUITOES
Mosquitoes’ appearance varies with their species, but all species of mosquitoes bear one pair of scaled wings and a pair of halters.
They have long legs and have a lean slender body. Usually, mosquitoes weigh less than 2.5 mg and their size is often less than 15 mm in length, but it may vary with species.
Common mosquito behavior includes buzzing around and biting humans.
Only female mosquitoes suck blood, male mosquitoes survive on plant nectar.
Signs of mosquitoes include buzzing, mosquito bites, skin rashes and redness. If you have standing water around your home, you may be providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Look for mosquito nymphs there and immediately drain them and spray insecticide to avoid an infestation.
HOW DO YOU GET MOSQUITOES
Damp and dark places
Mosquitoes love damp and dark places. Houses with stagnant water in the garden or backyard are ideal places for mosquitoes to thrive.
Mosquitoes sometimes enter your house in search of shelter and to avoid unfavorable outdoor conditions and wind. Open doors, windows, and holes provide them an easy path to get into your house.
Carbon Dioxide heat
Mosquitoes are greatly attracted towards carbon dioxide heat and sometimes get attracted to us because of the carbon dioxide we exhale. Moreover, some lights in the house also attract mosquitoes and they come after them.
HOW TO GET RID OF MOSQUITOES
Mosquitoes are a continuous nuisance and whether you are relaxing in your bedroom or enjoying the weather in your garden, they somehow sneak into your premises and ruin your mood and on top of that they even transmit diseases. There are some effective and easy to execute ways to eradicate these pesky pests from your house.
- Apply mosquito repellents on your body to avoid mosquito bites especially outdoors.
- People who are allergic to chemical repellents can use natural oil-based repellents. Citronella oil, cinnamon oil, and castor oil are well-known mosquito repellents. Tea tree oil and lemon eucalyptus oil are also useful in keeping mosquitoes away.
- Mosquito nets are helpful in keeping mosquitoes away. Mosquito nets should be used around baby carriers to protect infants from mosquito bites.
- Burning essential oils like lemon eucalyptus, lavender or catnip will help in keeping mosquitoes away from your room.
- Mosquito traps are quite effective in attracting and killing a large number of mosquitoes. These traps use chemicals to kill mosquitoes once they fell into their trap.
- Sprinkle coffee grounds on any still water in or near your home. This will prevent mosquitoes from breeding as it’ll force eggs to come on the water surface and eventually they will be killed because of lack of oxygen.
- Apple cider vinegar or cinnamon oil can also be used to kill mosquito larvae. Simply add them to the stagnant water.
- It’s essential to kill larvae to prevent mosquitoes. If you locate their breeding sites near (that could be any stagnant water) simply put mosquito dunks in them. These toxic bacteria will kill mosquito larvae without harming other living creatures.
LIFE CYCLE OF A MOSQUITO [INFOGRAPHIC]
Females after sucking blood and deriving the essential nutrients from blood develop their eggs. Then they lay them in water or near water sources like on soil or on the base of plants where there will be water.
Mosquito eggs can survive without water for a few months and hatch when they are exposed to water.
Mosquito larva is also called wriggler and it emerges from the egg after it hatches in water. It molts several times in water. Mosquito species, water temperature, and food availability determine the time to hatch.
After living and feeding in water, the larva develops into a pupa which is also called tumbler. Pupa stage it’s more of a resting stage and it lives in water without feeding.
Pupal stage last from few days to a week and then the adult mosquito emerges from the pupal case. Soon after emerging from pupal case, adult mosquito flies away.
A typically a mosquito life cycle completes within 2 weeks but it can range from 4 days to a month.
PURPOSE OF MOSQUITOES IN THE ECOSYSTEM
The mosquito plays a significant role in the food chain and contribute to other facets of the ecosystem.
Mosquito contributes a lot in the food chain and serves as the primary food source of several birds and animals such as lizards, fish, frogs, spiders, etc. Mosquito larva feeds on algae in the water and when it grows into an adult mosquito and become a food source for other animals, it eventually benefits them with valuable nutrients.
Mosquitoes initially feed upon plant and flower nectars and female mosquitoes though later start feeding upon blood, males always thrive on nectars. This nectar diet ultimately helps in pollinating various types of flowers.
Mosquitoes are beneficial for those plants that grow in swampy conditions. As mosquito larva grows and feeds on the organic matter in water, this aids in cleaning the dead insects from plants’ surroundings. Moreover plants also take benefit from the nutrients like nitrogen which is released by larvae in water.
- They don’t have teeth, but their sharp mouth is prickly enough to pry open the skin.
- Only female mosquitoes bite.
- Male mosquitoes never bite nor suck blood; they only feed upon plant nectar to survive. Their lifespan ranges from 6-9 days.
- Mosquitoes got attracted towards human sweat and human breathing and detect their victims from their smell and heat.
- Mosquitoes hibernate as soon as the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Female mosquitoes can hibernate for around 6 months. For hibernation, they dig little cave underground.