Mosquitoes: What They are, What They Do, and What to Do About Them

Mosquitoes: the omnipresent bane of summer outdoors enthusiasts across the globe. Enjoyable outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, or just getting some sun in the back yard can become a chore when you are pit against a swarm of tiny little vampires that legitimately want to eat you. They will not respect your personal space, and most people simply think of them as nature’s highly intrusive practical joke. But if you take a look beyond the pesky annoyance factor and into the science of what mosquitoes are, and what role they play (or don’t) in the ecosystem, you may find that they are unique and interesting creatures, for better or for worse.

The list below presents an assortment of facts about mosquitoes that you may not yet be aware of. Mosquitoes are highly heterogeneous creatures

There is more than just one type of mosquito. Approximately 3,500 more! However, only a few hundred of those actually bite. Furthermore, only the females of the species go for blood, in contrast to their herbivorous male counterparts. Regardless, a person in the marshes of Louisiana is being eaten alive by a completely different subspecies than a person in the Australian Outback.

Mosquitoes serve as active hosts to more diseases than any other animal

An annoying itch may be the least of your worries after your involuntarily generous exchange with a mosquito. In fact, there are more deaths directly associated with mosquitoes than any other animal in the world. They host and transmit a wide variety of deadly diseases including but not limited to West Nile, malaria, Zika virus, yellow fever, and even AIDS. According to the World Health Association, approximately 1 million people die each year as a direct result of a disease transmitted by a mosquito.

Every place in the world hosts mosquitoes, except

Iceland. The uniquely rapid climate shifts exclusive to Iceland are particularly unfriendly to the mosquito. The temperature fluctuations don’t allow the mosquitoes sufficient time to successfully complete their life cycle. Clearly, the Icelandic folk must feel very left out. Mosquitoes are an integral link in the food chain…aren’t they?

While many avian, reptilian, amphibian, fish, arachnid, and other species of animals rely on mosquitoes and their larva as a steady food source, recently scientists are speculating that they don’t make up a portion of diet so substantial that these animals wouldn’t survive without them. Although it’s not verified, the romantic notion that every creature has a vital place in nature may not extend to our intimate bloodsucking friends. What you can do about them

Mosquitoes are a fact of our environment, but this does not mean that you are left at their mercy. They have none to give. Thankfully, humans have developed ways to protect those who don’t wish to donate their blood to nature. Off spray and similar products are helpful when you’re on the go. Mosquito coils and lamps are effective if you stay in their immediate area. You can fumigate your yard, but that can have negative side effects on other flora and fauna, as well as be potentially hazardous to your own respiratory system. An emerging method that is showing promise is automatic mosquito control misting systems. This method is all-natural and has proven to be effective in ridding your yard of unwanted pests.

It is important that you do a bit of research to find out which method agrees with you personally. If none of them do, well, you can always move to Iceland.

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