Together with the cockroach, no other insect in this world is as vilified as the mosquitoes. They have an unenviable reputation as killers; well deserved at that. Historically, they have caused the deaths of more people than all of the wars combined. How did they do it? By spreading deadly diseases like malaria, dengue fever, zIka virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, elephantiasis, and many others. They are a nuisance too. Who would not be annoyed with them buzzing around your ears when you watch tv, or when you sleep at night.
Mosquitoes – whose scientific name is Culicidae – are about .125 mm to .75 inches in size and are about 0.000088 oz in weight. They have a slender, segmented body; a pair of wings; six legs; elongated mouthparts; and antennae. They can live from 2 weeks up to as long as 6 months. They feed on human or animal blood, and in that way, they are able to spread diseases. There are as many as 3,000 species of mosquitoes, but only three are responsible for the spread of the diseases. Only female mosquitoes suck blood as male mosquitoes do not have the same mouthparts as those of the females.
The mosquitoes life cycle starts from being an egg, larva, pupa and adult. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on the water surface.
How they transmit the disease
There is a reason why mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures on earth; they can spread disease in so many ways. Parasites attach themselves to the gut of the female mosquitoes, and as the female sucks blood, the parasites transfers to this new host. As a result, the host gets malaria. In other cases, the virus enters the mosquito as it feeds on an infected human’s blood. The mosquito then transfers to another human and infects the next person through its saliva.
How to prevent mosquito infestation
Do not worry, there are ways to protect yourself from mosquito infestation. Here are a few simple steps:
- Since mosquitoes like to be around stagnant water, remove all things that can hold water for more than 1 week. Old things like used tires, old cans, broken or clogged rain gutters, outdoor faucets, street gutters, and plastic containers. Remember that mosquitoes will hang around water that is more than a week old.
- When sleeping, use a mosquito net so they will not be able to bite you. When inside the house, mosquitoes frequently target your bedroom.
- Install tight-fitting windows and put a screen on it. With a screen, you can freely open your windows as you wish. If you do not have screens, make sure your windows are closed at all times. Doors should not be left open too.
- Apply mosquito repellents. Apply these on your skin. You can buy these at the store, or you can make some yourself. The internet is a treasure trove of DIY insecticides.
- Make use of your electric fan. Mosquitoes do not like it when their flight patterns are disturbed. Mosquitoes cannot handle wind speeds of up to two miles per hour. They are just too thin and too small for it.
- Use mosquito traps and zappers. Mosquitoes are attracted to the trap by bait in an enclosed area, where they will be trapped or killed by a net.
Follow these steps for a mosquito-free home. For more information on pests, you may call 336-841-6111.