Have you ever heard of a Gallinipper mosquito? It must be one of these rare types of mosquito that is uncommon to most of us…until now!
Psorophora ciliata, or Gallinipper mosquitos, are a particular brand of insect that deserve a category of its own due to their unique attributes.
And once you finish you the article, you’ll have the tools you need to identify and manipulate them for your protection.
How To Identify
When learning about Gallinipper mosquitos, it’s best to take into consideration two major factors: physical attributes such as color and size, and the habitat of where they live and thrive.
Let’s talk visual traits.
Gallinipper mosquitos are a large form of mosquito; roughly six times larger when compared to the typically small-sized cousins of the Aedes species, or other species within its genus.
When it comes to the specifics of the body, although it varies by mosquito, they tend to be much of the same, aesthetically.
Their wingspan is much longer, as it reaches 6 to 7 millimeters from tip-to-tip.
Typically, both male and females are pretty big, and can range in color from a dark yellow tint, to just plain black. Their thorax has two-to-four stripes on the abdomen, with a pale abdomen.
The proboscis, or elongated, needle-like attachment used for siphoning blood, is usually dark yellow with a black tip. Because of their size, their proboscis is considerably long as well. They use it best on small mammals, or on the backside of a larger meal, like cattle, horses, or dogs.
Fact: Gallinipper mosquitos are strong enough to bite through clothing.
The males will present with bushy antennae, while the females antennae are almost smooth.
Also, their trademark hairy legs are really distinguable too, which is the basis of their nickname “gallinipper” meaning “shaggy”.
In addition, both male and female Gallinipper mosquitos have banded, or segmented, legs
Unlike their mosquito counterparts, they are considered “flood mosquitos”, and their population tends to surge during the after effects of a major storm or hurricane.
The floods happen worldwide; however, they are more likely to happen in more particular areas. You can find a Gallinipper mosquito habitat in the eastern and southeastern areas of the United States.
They start low, and usually head north as far as Ontario and Quebec, Canada. The mid-western states, all the way down to Argentina, are also a prime location for these mosquitos, and there are several attributes that help them thrive in these conditions.
Like other mosquitos, Gallinippers are very fond of humid, warm, or hot temperatures. Within these temperatures, Gallinippers explore and occupy territory that is filled with low-lying grassy overgrowth, damp soil, and stillwater.
Standing water is imperative to their habitat due to the fact the female Gallinippers will use it as a breeding ground to grow and hatch their eggs to continue the species.
Their predatory nature makes them a prime insect for exclusive territory. Most animals that are unfortunate to be bitten by a Gallinipper usually are pushed out of their living domain.
Control and Prevention
There are a lot of different ways to manipulate the population control of Gallinipper mosquitos. Three particular techniques come to mind: natural predators, chemicals, and prevention strategies.
If you want to an organic way of getting rid of Gallinipper mosquitos, try using one of their natural predators.
Animals such as bats, birds, dragonflies, and even large-sized fish are direct choices for controlling the population of these assertive mosquitos.
Using a natural predator also grants you peace of mind that you’re simply allowing the food chain to flow, which is great, especially if you care about the life of animals and insects.
Word of caution: bringing bigger animals into the mix could potentially cause a bigger issue than just mosquitos; so make this choice wisely.
However, if you try it out, and it doesn’t work, there are other options that are just as effective.
Mosquito repellents are a common manner to protect ourselves from the overt bite of a mosquito, and immediately remove them from our presence.
Commercially, there are several types of synthetic chemicals that are used in mosquito repellents. These chemicals include:
- N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET)
These chemicals are highly effective at killing mosquitos the moment that it comes into contact with them.
The problem with using these types of chemicals is that they can have harmful effects to the human body. If enough is absorbed into your skin, it could cause irritation, gastrointestinal issues, breathing problems, and/or neurological dysfunction.
On the contrary, organic chemical – or plant-based essential oils like lemongrass, eucalyptus, and peppermint-, do a wonderful job at keeping mosquitos away, as well as being healthy for your skin and body.
At the end of the day, no matter what chemical or repellent we purchase, we are not capable of controlling mosquitos. They will find us and bite us at their desire.
So if we can’t stop them with attacks, let’s halt them with defense.
Prevention tactics against mosquitos are a wide range of suggestions that will help you protect yourself against Gallinipper mosquitos.
Check out these tips that I have for you:
- Wear long-sleeve shirts, and pants.
- Cover yourself with a thick blanket after a flood or hurricane.
- Refrain from low-lying grass during the warm months.
- Wear light colors (their attracted to the heat of dark colors).
- Remove standing water from your area.
This is one option that you can combine with any other in order to obtain the ultimate protection from these persistent bugs.
Well, there you have it! If you didn’t know what a Gallinipper mosquito is, you must certainly do now.
They are assertive mosquitos that are docile when alone, and aggressive when they want a meal.
They prefer warm and humid temperatures with plenty of stillwater around for their eggs, and they are one of the largest mosquitos in the United States that we know of.
With that being said, keep this quality information in mind if you are ever approached by a Gallinipper mosquito; it could save you from an unwanted interaction.