Mosquito and mosquito bite FAQs

People who live in areas where mosquitoes are rampant insects often have certain questions about the nature of this bloodthirsty insect. People are usually interested in learning more about mosquitoes when they are planning an outdoor trip (like fishing or camping). These questions have been addressed in this article as a means to inform you of what exactly this dastardly part of nature is.

Why do mosquitoes bite?

All mosquitoes do not bite. Only female mosquitoes bite, and this is because of the need blood for the development of their eggs. They are said to produce 1 to 3 batches of eggs in their lifetime, and when they are ready to develop and produce their eggs, they search for blood. Female mosquitoes have six different “stylets” that they use to pump the blood from our bodies (4 are used to saw a hole into tiny capillaries right under our skin, one is used to inject saliva to make the blood flow more freely, and one is used for the actual pumping mechanism).  Mosquitoes have an incredible ability to find human skin, even if far away.

Are there ways to attract mosquitoes?

There are certain things which will attract mosquitoes to you, including:

  • Wearing dark colored clothes,
  • Body odor,
  • Wearing perfume or cologne,
  • CO2 (basically, breathing),
  • Jogging,
  • Body heat,
  • Type O blood,
  • Wearing sweaty socks,
  • Secreting lactic acid.

How long do mosquitoes live?

Depending on the species, mosquitoes can have a lifespan of several weeks to several months. Female mosquitoes have a longer average lifespan than male mosquitoes.

Why do we itch after mosquito bites?

10-mosquito-bites-skin

The mosquito’s saliva is what makes your skin itch.

The itching sensation that we feel after being bitten by a mosquito is our body’s reaction to the anticoagulant that the female mosquito injects with her saliva (when she wants to make our blood a bit more free flowing).

If the female mosquitoes bite, what do male mosquitoes do?

Male mosquitoes are responsible for fertilizing the females. They feed on nectar and are pollinators. Females mate with males only once and store the sperm which will fertilize the eggs that she will lay.

Are mosquitoes attracted to water?

Yes, they live in water and rely on trips to water for the elimination of carbon dioxide and inhaling fresh oxygen. Female mosquitoes even lay their larvae in stagnant pools of water, and the larvae spend the first two weeks of their lives in the water. Hence, they are also attracted to humidity, which is why they are attracted to humans when they breathe because we are essentially exhaling water vapor.  This is why targeting water in your yard is one of the best ways to reduce the number of mosquitoes around.

How fast can mosquitoes fly on average?

Depending upon the species, mosquitoes can fly at about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.

How far can mosquitoes fly on average?

Mosquito species who prefer to breed around the house have a limited flight range of about 300 feet. Most species have flight ranges of 1-3 miles. Salt marsh breeders are the fastest species as they have been known to migrate up to 100 miles on average in even the most exceptional circumstances.

How much do they weigh on average?
Smaller species found around houses weigh around 2.5 milligrams. Larger species weigh around10 milligrams.

How much blood does a mosquito take in a meal?
When feeding to repletion, mosquitoes can imbibe anywhere from 0.001 to 0.01 milliliter.

Do mosquitoes have an actual purpose?
Mosquitoes fill some niches in nature. They have been known to have existed from the Cretaceous Period (about 100 million years ago) in North America. Their adaptability has made them very successful, with over 2,700 species in existence worldwide. Mosquitoes serve as food sources for a variety of organisms but are not crucial to any predator species. Animals such as bats rely on mosquitoes for a big part of their nutrition during warmer months.

When are mosquitoes most active?

There are some species of mosquitoes which are more active between dawn and dusk (when the air is much calmer), but there are other species which feed at any time of the day. They prefer a warm and moist environment, and mosquitoes that transmit diseases are usually active all year around.

How do mosquitoes get into my house?
Mosquitoes can enter your house through any portable region, including an open or broken window, bathroom exhaust vents, etc. One particular region which is a favorite is the garage.

Do all mosquitoes transmit diseases to humans?

Not all mosquitoes transmit diseases; there are only a certain number of species which do so. Some common diseases include malaria, dengue, eastern equine encephalitis (EEE, “triple E”) and Western Nile Virus (WNV), etc.

How can I Prevent Mosquito Bites?

Much of this website is devoted to answering that question, but we are still glad you asked it.  First, you need to reduce the number of areas that mosquitoes find attractive in your surroundings, and making your yard mosquito-proof.  That means getting rid of standing water and long weeds.  Reducing mosquito habitat means fewer mosquito bites.  Second, if you can’t get rid of the root cause, you may need to explore either a mosquito repellent, something that will keep mosquitoes from wanting to land on your skin, or potentially some type of mosquito killer.  Neither are a long-term fix, but they might reduce mosquito bites for the short-term.

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