Mosquitoes are small creatures that bite humans and animals to whom they transmit some diseases. For instance mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of malaria to humans. The most recent mosquito-borne disease is zika virus which induce birth defect babies. Below you will find answers to the most common questions asked about mosquitoes. Alternatively, you can learn all about mosquitoes.
Can mosquitoes transmit HIV?
No, mosquito do not transmit HIV to human. At least, there has never been of such case. Mosquito do transmit others virus to humans and livestock but there is a specificity as to which virus can be transmitted. Mosquito-borne viruses transmission is quite complex because it involves a series of interactions that prevent or reduce the chance successful infection. These interactions involve the virus, the mosquito (which is also called the host). and the human or animal subject. When a mosquito take a blood meal from form an HIV infected patient, the virus is automatically taken up by the mouthparts of the mosquito. However, the mosquito midgut does not favor the development and propagation of the HIV virus. In fact mosquito have a strong immune system that target and destroy foreign compound including virus.
What is the medical importance of mosquitoes?
Are female mosquitoes the only ones that bite?
Yes, indeed, it is only the female mosquito of certain species that bite. They bite humans and animal to get blood. The nutrients from the blood are necessary for the formation of mosquito eggs. Male mosquito do not drink blood, they feed on nectar and other sugar sources.
How long do mosquitoes live?
Most insects including mosquitoes have short life expectancy. If conditions are favorable, mosquitoes can live for up to 30 days. For instance, we have observed that Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that cause zika can live for up to 35 days in the laboratory. In real life it is very unlikely that mosquito can live for one month. Mosquito eggs, however can survive for up to one year. This is why have mosquitoes every year as soon as there is water, mosquito eggs hatch and boom there are mosquitoes everywhere.
Why do mosquitoes bite?
Mosquito bite to get blood which is necessary for the development of their eggs. They bite humans and also animals like cat, dogs chicken and many others. Only female mosquitoes bite, male mosquitoes do not bite. Not all mosquito species bite
What do mosquitoes eat?
Adult mosquitoes feed on sugar like nectar from flowers. They all so feed on other sources of sugar that they can find. Both male and female mosquitoes use nectar as their primary source of food. Additionally, female mosquitoes feed on blood. They bite humans and animals to get the blood and cause many diseases like malaria, zika, dengue etc.
What are mosquitoes attracted to?
Mosquitoes are attracted to several chemicals. For instance, they are attracted carbon dioxide that human exhale. Some mosquitoes are also attracted to sweat. We have observed that mosquito prefer to bite on the feet of humans. It has been suggested that it is probably the lactic acid produced in our feet that make mosquito attracted to our feet.
How high can mosquitoes fly?
Mosquito can fly up to 10 meters but it is very rare that they reach such height. Most mosquito species prefer to fly within 2 to 3 meters. Anopheles gambiae, the malaria mosquito, can fly to up to 3 meters if there is no wind or other obstacles.
What are the different types of mosquitoes?
There are several type of mosquitoes in the world. It has been estimated that there is more 3200 described species of mosquitoes. However only few of them live in urban enivronment. Most of them live in the wild. Urban mosquitoes include:
- Aedes agypti, the yellow fever mosquito ( also cause zika, dengue, chikungnya)
- Aedes albopictus,
- Anopheles gambiae, the malaria mosquito
- Anopheles quadrimaculata,
- Culex pipiens
- Culex quinquefasciatus
what are mosquitoes good for?
For humans, mosquitoes are not good for anything. They only cause problems for us. However, mosquitoes are good for the functioning of the ecosystem. Many birds and fishes feed on mosquitoes.So if we were to eliminate all mosquitoes those birds and fishes will lack food.
Do male mosquitoes bite?
I already answer that question. Male mosquitoes do not bite, only female bite. Male mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowers.
Where do mosquitoes live?
Adults mosquitoes are aerial, they fly but live in dark places in homes. They hide in clothes and any other structures that can protect them from light. Some mosquitoes species live in the wild and rarely interact with humans.
what do male mosquitoes eat?
Male mosquitoes feed on sugar. They obtain it from the nectar produced by flowers.