Mosquitoes, those brazen little buggers that buzz off with a belly full of your blood, Yach! They can ruin your nice picnic in the park, camping out with your friends, and even in your house right when you are in bed.
Truth be told I dread mosquitoes they are one of the worst things in the summer. They come in swamps just about anywhere you go. Chances are the first human being on this planet was probably bitten by a mosquito anyways I digress.
So why do mosquitoes bite? And why does it itch like crazy? Oh! Well, its high time we got some answers.
First of all, mosquitoes are ancient critters believed to have evolved some 50 – 100 million years ago. Their existence today shows they are a highly adaptable species. They live on all the continents on the globe from tropical sub-Saharan Africa to the cold forests of Siberia, Russia except for Antarctica.
Plus, there are about 3000 – 3500 mosquito species all around the world all the need is some water and a warm meal. Nah I don’t mean your Nana’s home-baked apple pie, I’m talking what’s pumping between your veins but I bet, you probably didn’t know not all mosquitoes suck blood, didn’t you? Only female mosquitoes drink blood while the male specimen feed on nectar.
Here are some other differences between male and female mosquitoes
Male mosquitoes have long hairy antennas and are smaller than female mosquitoes.
Once the female mosquito’s eggs are ready, it needs a place with standing water to release them and the look for a source of blood usually within 2 – 3 miles of the breathing ground.
This is why you should get rid of standing water around the house if you don’t want a mosquito invasion.
To be fair there aren’t many species that prefer human blood at all, most of them rather feed of mammals that don’t grab a book or something to squish them.
So how do mosquitoes find you in the first place?
Well, they do have a variety of methods
1. They have big compound eyes with hundreds of lenses that give them a wide field of vision.
2. They’ve got tiny hairs all over their body that guide them towards the movement of big animals.
However, they often use sent to sniff out the carbon dioxide you exhale. A mosquito can sense a tiny concentration of Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air from more than 20m away
The true mystery of mosquitoes is in their feeding habits.
What you perceive as a short stinging feeling is actually a long and ingenious process for the mosquito.
You see a mosquito’s proboscis is far more complex than just a sharp straw to suck out blood. It consists of six tiny separate parts called stylets. Yup! They’re actually probing your skin with six needles in you.
These stylets have different functions. While one finds blood vessels in the skin the other injects the mosquitos’ saliva. The saliva contains enzymes that stop blood from clotting and it also acts as some kind of anesthesia.
So from the moment they get in, the pray won’t feel anything until the mosquito leaves and the bite mark starts itching. This is because most people are allergic to those enzymes. Mind you there are people who won’t feel the itch at all.
See other dangerous insects you need to watch out for.
So why do mosquitoes need the blood?
Well, female mosquitoes need loads of protein and iron found in blood to make loads of eggs. After it feeds it might take 24 or 48 hours to digest it and after that, she lays her eggs and the cycle starts again.