What are mosquitos?
There are over 3000 species of mosquitoes with a variety of differences. The majority are characteristically the same. Most are no larger than 16mm in size or heavier than 2.5 milligrams. Mosquitoes originate from a family called Culicidae.
Their thin frame has two scaled wings and their body has three parts including the abdomen, thorax and head. The head is equipped with eyes and antennae. Mosquitoes feed on nectar, plant juices and decayed materials.
The female mosquito is the only one that sucks blood. She has a tubular antenna suitable for sucking. Her saliva has an anticoagulant so the blood does not clot before she finishes. The blood is not for feeding. She uses it for the nutrients she needs to develop her eggs.
The male antennae are softer and thicker. The insects normally feed at dawn and dusk. Chemical, heat and visual sensors locate their prey. The male has a hearing senor for detecting females.
Mosquitoes lay eggs around a source of water. They go through four stages in 5 to 15 days including eggs, larva, pupa and adulthood. Mating begins within several days. The general life span for males is 5 to 7 days. The female can live 5 to 40 days.
Each female may lay as many as several hundred eggs at one time. It is possible for mosquitoes to lay up to three thousand eggs in a lifetime. The insect is a carrier of diseases such as malaria, encephalitis, west nile virus, dengue and yellow fever.