Mosquito Fun Facts
Did you know that there are more than 3,500 different types of Mosquitoes and only about 175 of them are found in the United States? Here are 10 other mosquito facts that you might not know:
- Mosquitoes Spend Their First 10 Days In Water. Female mosquitoes will lay their eggs in stagnant water. Once hatched, the new mosquitoes, aka ‘wrigglers’, will feed on the organic matter found in the water. Wrigglers then develop into a partially cocooned phase called ‘pupae’. After a few days, they complete their transformation into adult mosquitoes.
- The Average Mosquito Lifespan Is Less Than Two Months. Male mosquitoes have the shortest lifespan of about 10 days, while females typically live 6-8 weeks.
- Mosquitoes Hibernate. Mosquitoes are cold-blooded and prefer temperatures over 80 degrees. At temperatures less than 50 degrees, they shut down for the winter. The adult females of some species find holes where they wait for warmer weather, while others lay their eggs in freezing water and die. The eggs keep until the temperatures rise, and then they hatch.
- Mosquitoes Don’t Have Teeth. The females “bite” with a long, pointed mouth part called a proboscis. They use the serrated proboscis to pierce the skin and locate a capillary, then draw blood through one of the two tubes, up to three times its weight.
- Only Female Mosquitoes Bite. The main food source for both male and female mosquitoes are fruit and plant nectar. However, female mosquitoes need the protein found in blood, to develop her eggs.
- As Light As A Feather. An adult mosquito weighs 2.0 milligrams. That’s 1,250 times lighter than a penny.
- Mosquitoes Don’t Fly Very Far, Very High or Very Fast. Most mosquitoes can fly no more than 1-3 miles, reach a top speed of 1.5mph, and often stay within several hundred feet of where they were hatched. Typically, Mosquitoes fly below 25 feet. However, some species have been found at extraordinary heights, including 8,000 feet up in the Himalayas.
- Mosquitoes Are Considered The Deadliest “Animal” In The World. Mosquitoes cause more deaths than any other animal in the world. The Anopheles mosquito, in particular, is dangerous because it transmits malaria, which kills more than 1 million people every year. In some parts of the world, a child dies every minute from mosquito-transmitted malaria. Alexander the Great is also believed to have died of malaria in 323 B.C.
- Our Bodies Attract Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, lactic acid and octanol found in our breath and sweat, as well as the heat and humidity that surrounds out bodies. Darker clothing also attracts mosquitoes because dark clothes retain more heat than light-colored clothing.
- Bug Zappers Are Useless. Studies have shown that less than 4.1% percent of insects killed by bug zappers are female mosquitoes or other biting insects. Instead, these devices mainly kill insects like moths and have no effect on the overall mosquito population.