Pest of the Month: Mosquito

Much like our beloved outdoor cookouts and fireworks on the 4th, mosquitoes are an unfortunately normal part of our hot, sticky summers. They buzz in your ear, they bite on your ankles, and they leave ugly red,itchy bumps.

Mosquitoes are found throughout the world, with about 3500 species currently described. Most of these species are considered a nuisance because of the female’s blood-sucking habit – she needs the blood to produce eggs. Females hunt by detecting organic substances, such as carbon dioxide, in the air and are usually most active during dusk or dawn. You’ve probably been around someone (or perhaps you are that someone) that the mosquitoes just seem to always go after. Certain chemical combinations have been shown to make one person a more attractive host than another – so it’s at least partially true that mosquitoes may be more inclined to bite one person over another.

Mosquitoes are considered to be one of the most deadly animals in the world, simply because of the many viruses and parasites they carry. Mosquitoes act as a vector for West Nile virus, malaria and yellow fever, among many others. About two million people will die each year from diseases borne from mosquito bites. Some scientists have suggested that completely eradicating the mosquito would have little effect on the environment, and for those of us who live them here, the idea can be very tempting!

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