Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying pests on this beautiful green Earth. All they do is suck our blood and leave us with an itchy bump!
But did you know that they can also be one of Earth’s most valuable resources?
Mosquitos are a misunderstood breed of animals; so allow me to clarify this by giving you seven interesting facts about mosquitos.
1. Impact on the Ecology System
Mosquitos drain blood from your body for nutrients, and it’s nettling to everyone who experiences it; but if we could miraculously get rid of each and every mosquito, it would be detrimental to the Earth’s ecology system.
Mosquitos not only drain fluids from humans, but also from plants. When they drink the sweet nectar from a flower, they are also pollinating it.
This cross-pollination action is an impactful activity for the continuation of growing certain types of flowers, like cacao…leaving us in a world without chocolate! How disappointing!
In addition, it would leave us in a world filled with more humans. As harsh as it sounds, mosquitos are a part of the human ecology as well by providing a natural form of population control.
Mosquito-borne diseases are detrimental to our health; however; totally getting rid of them would increase the world’s Human population, and leave a big gap in ecosystem that will be much worse than an itchy bump or some flu-like system.
The risks seem to outweigh the reward, so in this case, I believe it’s best for us to stick with the devil that we already know.
2. Mosquitoes Will Outlive Humans
You may not have thought about it much, but mosquitos have been on this earth for much longer than we realize.
The oldest form of mosquito was found buried in a yellow-golden glass-type material called Burmese Amber.
Turns out that this fossilized mosquito is called Chaoboridae, and is one of the earliest and primitive relatives that is related to the modern type, Culicidae.
Once the Burmese Amber was investigated, it resulted that it came from the jurassic period -the age of the dinosaurs – which postulates this fossil, and mosquito, to have lived approximately 90 to 100 million years ago!
Now let’s think about this: if mosquitos live during the time of the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops, and they managed to still live and carry out their geneus, what’s stopping them from continuously living on?
Because of fatal vector disease, scientists are constantly developing ways to not only eradicate the disease, but also the mosquitos that carry them; but will it work? In my opinion, not as as effectively as we hope.
This insinuates that mosquitos have the potential to outlive human beings, despite our tireless efforts to wipe them from the face of the Earth.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, your smelly feet is a lovely odor for any mosquito, especially the Aedes type.
Inside our bodies there are hundreds of different chemicals, and billions of various microorganisms. When we sweat, and the scent becomes trapped – like walking all day and leaving the funk in your socks – that scent will build up.
Once you take your shoes and socks off, a burst of stink will fill the room, and the mosquitos will use the chemo-sensors in their antennae to detect the alluring smell, and feast like never before.
Brown, dark blue, and black are major colors that attract mosquitos. Why? It’s because of the amount of heat that is associated with the colors.
Dark colors have a “code” with the light; the more light a color can attract, the more heat it will produce; and they find us by the heat that’s trapped in our clothing.
If you aren’t aware, mosquitos love warmth, heat, and humidity; and if your shirt or pants can provide that, a mosquito will attempt to snuggle up with it, and attempt to perform oral extraction from the thickest and fullest blood vessel it can find.
4. Mosquitoes Love A Full Moon
This is one of the coolest facts that I found about our little pesky friends: mosquitos are attracted to a full moon just like a Werewolf in all of the Halloween movies that you’ve seen; but how?
As most of us know, when the sun goes down, so does the temperature; and the lower the temperature, the less mosquitos want to come out and play, bite, or simply bask in the air searching for a bloody meal to score.
That is, until a full moon brightly lights up our nighttime sky. So what is it about a full moon that brings that mosquitos out at night?
Heat! It seems as if mosquitos know the world a bit better than we do.
Just like the sun, the moon has the capacity to emit its own light; and with light comes heat. As previously mentioned, mosquitos are prone to the heat, and if a full moon can provide it, mosquitos will gladly accept it.
A study illustrated that during a full moon, mosquito activity increases by nearly 500%!
Sorry to take the fantasy away from you, but it really is just that simple. The technicality of what attracts mosquitos to a full moon is simply heat.
5. Mosquito “Dance” Before They Mate
Oh yeah, bet you didn’t know that mosquitos like to boogie, huh? But this only happens when it’s time for a male mosquito to mate with a female.
Male mosquitos are always ready to procreate with its female counterpart because that’s their only job in life. So when the time comes to fulfill their destiny, they create a swarm and fly around in a repeated pattern, and “dance” until a female mosquito notices them.
They can detect the approaching female through the sounds created by them ferociously beating their wings in excitement.
Once they see the female, they will step up and attempt to begin the mating process in which, of course, the female has the ultimate say in whether or not it will happen.
What attracts the female to the male is the acoustic signalling from his wings.
Once the male mosquito is selected, it turns into a beautiful scene of companionship. The attraction translates into interaction and each mosquito will alter the rate of their beating wings in order to match one another.
When the sounds are aligned, it’s called “harmonic convergence” and that’s when everything else falls short, and the pair(s) of mosquitos engage in intimate frisk.
6. Mosquitoes Like Beer
Did you know that mosquitos are a fan of the crisp taste of beer after a long day of flying and draining blood?
But let me be clear; it isn’t the taste of wheat that they are attracted to, it’s carbon dioxide, or CO2, that they enjoy the most.
Carbon dioxide is a chemical that we breathe out when we exhale. Inside of this chemical are microscopic attributes in which a mosquito can pick up on with the sensors in their antennae; and this gas can be sensed by a mosquito at a distance of at least 75 feet!
Since carbon dioxide is a major contributor of attracting mosquitos, along with perspiration and odor, beer becomes a significant factor, considering that the carbonation in it will make you burp, and therefore, exude more CO2 into the air.
Carbon dioxide is also directly out of the beer itself; and once you pop that top, the smell becomes instant.
Once the mosquito locks on to the CO2 scent, it follows the chemo-trail to the host that released it; and if you just downed your second beer, heck, even your first beer, prepare yourself for a mosquito to find its way to you.
7. Some Mosquitoes Don’t Bite Humans
Thankfully, there are two types of mosquitos that avoid biting humans!
They tend to obtain their protein and nutrients from either plants exclusively, or from other animals; and because of this facet, they are little-to-no bother to us.
The first type that avoids humans is the Culiseta melanura, better known as the Black-Tail Mosquito. They can be found in the eastern and southeastern parts of the U.S., as well as the mid-eastern areas of Central America. And tend to feast on small mammals, mainly birds.
Another type that isn’t a fan of humans is the Uranotaenia sapphirina can be found up to northern Quebec, Canada, in the eastern and central states of the U.S., as well as throughout Mexico.
Since they don’t feed on humans, they obtain their blood-meals from reptiles and amphibians, like frogs and lizards.
Interestingly enough, the Culiseta melanura are capable of overwinter hibernation, which is why there tend to be many of them throughout their domains.
Mosquitos are typically a genre of animals that we try our best to physically avoid; but when we take a deeper look into their lifestyle, we are bound to find interesting and unknown facts about them, such as the ones previously described.
So before we judge them, let’s simply get to know them first, and you’ll be surprised at what you find out.