Every spring, Americans start complaining about mosquitoes invading their property. Yes, we know they bite, but how much else do you really know about this ubiquitous pest?
- There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes, about 175 of which can be found in the United States.
- Only female mosquitoes bite. Mosquitoes feed on vegetable and fruit nectar, but the female needs blood for her eggs to develop properly.
- The afternoon is the best time to be outside if you want to avoid mosquitoes. When the temperature is at its peak, these insects generally rest in cool, out-of-the-way places.
- A mosquito flies at approximately 1 to 1.5 miles per hour. It’s not uncommon for them to travel 10-15 miles in a night.
- A mosquito weighs 1/25,000 of an ounce.
- The average mosquito lives less than two months. They develop from egg to adult in just 10 days. Female mosquitoes live considerably longer than males.
- The name “mosquito” comes from the Spanish words for “little fly.” This moniker dates back to the 16th century. In other parts of the English-speaking world, such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, mosquitoes are called “mozzies”.
- Mosquitoes locate humans (and horses and cattle) by detecting body heat and carbon dioxide from our breath.
- Mosquito wings beat 300-600 times per second. That’s what makes the buzzing sound you heard when a mosquito is near your head.
- The itch that most people experience from mosquito bites is actually an allergic reaction to the saliva the female mosquito injects when she extracts your blood.
Some of the best ways to prevent mosquitoes from invading your yard are to get rid of any standing water, keep your yard mowed and your trees and bushes trimmed, pick up litter regularly that has blown in your yard, and make sure to remove (or drain) any old tires on your property.