The Anopheles Mosquito

About 3500 species of Mosquitoes exist in this world; these buzzing little insects not only are irksome but they are dangerous too because of their ability to spread several life-threatening diseases to humans. One such mosquito species is the Anopheles mosquito which is the main source of spreading malaria. So let’s have a look at it.

HOW TO IDENTIFY ANOPHELES MOSQUITOES


Appearance

Anopheles gambiae mosquito feeding. A malaria vector.

Anopheles gambiae mosquito feeding. A malaria vector.

The body of an adult Anopheles mosquito is divided into three parts which are Head, Abdomen, and Thorax. They are black to brown in color and on average an Anopheles mosquito is 1/8 to 3/9 inch long.

They have small wings and scales that run through the veins of the wings and their mouth has long, sharp, beak-like sucking parts which they use to sting their prey, especially humans. These mouthparts are called proboscis. Anopheles Mosquitoes also possess a pair of antennae having feathery texture.

Unlike other types of mosquitoes, when an Anopheles mosquito is in sitting position, its stomach is pointed upwards. The female Anopheles Mosquito is bigger in size as compared to the Male Anopheles.

Behavior

A single female Anopheles mosquito can mate for several times in its small lifetime and can lay up to 200 eggs at a time. A female lays eggs directly on the water or in any container possessing stagnant water. The life cycle of the Anopheles mosquito takes 4–30 days to complete and it depends largely on the surrounding temperature; in favorable climatic conditions, it can take just 4 days to become an adult. The average lifespan of an Anopheles mosquito is around 2 weeks.

The Anopheles mosquito is not active in the daylight and attacks it’s victims at night, it remains active from dusk to dawn. Females feed on the blood of different mammals, humans, birds, reptiles, amphibians, etc, because they need protein to produce eggs, whereas male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar. The optimum temperature for Anopheles mosquitoes to thrive is around 84°F.

Signs

Mosquito bites are always painful, but bites by the Anopheles mosquito aren’t just painful but dangerous too. If you witness symptoms like fever, vomiting, chills, nausea, headache, and weakness, then you should instantly consult a doctor. Symptoms of malaria never appear immediately after a mosquito bite, usually, it takes around 7–30 days to appear.

HOW DO YOU GET ANOPHELES MOSQUITOES


Unhygienic conditions and poor sanitation invites Anopheles mosquitoes to your home. Debris and stagnant water outside is heaven for them and they happily thrive on them. Changing weather conditions also augment their growth and they fly into your house.


HOW TO GET RID OF ANOPHELES MOSQUITOES


  • Maintain proper sanitation of your house and always keep debris in closed bins and dispose of them regularly.
  • Use mosquito repellents on the exposed skin to keep these disease-causing insects away from your body.
  • Treat the stagnant water outside your home to kill the larvae flourishing there.
  • They love hot and dark surroundings, so avoid wearing dark-colored clothes.
  • During the swarming season of Anopheles mosquitoes, use nets to cover your bed and sleep under them, as they always bite their victims at night.
  • Apply insecticides, but they provide short-term relief as the eggs and larvae present in the water aren’t killed by them. To get rid of them, call fumigation experts to treat your house and surroundings.
  • Several mosquito traps are available in the market; you can also pick any of them which suit you.

Anopheles Mosquito Facts


  • Besides spreading malaria among human beings, Anopheles mosquito is also responsible for spreading heartworm disease in dogs.
  • Blood meal increases the weight of the mosquito; after a single meal, Anopheles mosquito can gain weight up to 140%. It has a large blood-sucking capacity and can drink blood up to 3 times its body weight.
  • 440,000 people die annually because of malaria spread by Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • They get attracted to the smell of human sweat.