Did You Know Its Female Mosquitoes That Bite?

As the weather warms up and the nights get clammy, this is when an unseen visitor enters your house and takes your property (And I’m not taking about a big burly man with a striped pullover, a mask and a bag with Swag written across it!). This invader is small, doesn’t disturb you when you’re sleeping and like a cat burglar you only know they’ve been until the next morning. What is it you ask? The mosquito…

These insects only make themselves known when you innocently scratch an itchy part of your body and the bump is not only big but also annoys the hell out of you for the rest of the day.

anopheles_albimanus_mosquitoWithin Britain there are about 30 different species of mosquito. The Anopheles species (which can also be found on other continents) is a vector for the virus that causes Malaria. Although there has been no recent reported cases of Malaria in this country with climate change occurring it could be back very soon. The last outbreak of this worldwide disease was in 1916-17 in Cliffe in Kent, the last reported man dying of it was as recent as 1952 on the Isle of Sheppey within the same county of Kent.

Your average common household mosquito which bites you tends to be female (no comment!!) with the males feeding on nectar and other sweet substances. To distinguish the sexes you need to look at their antennae with the males having bushy ones and the females being less elaborate. Females find their victim by the use of infra red body heat and also by your exhalation of carbon dioxide from your breath.

How do you protect yourself from these blighters I hear you ask?

Nets could be used as a barrier against these insects. The problem would be it would take half a hour to find your way in and your bed would look like a fairy princesses bed not the image you want to convey if you’re a big roughtie-toughtie type; also one little rip or gap in the net and bham they’re in.

When I worked in a health food shop there were numerous things that could be used such as various types of essential oils such as Lemongrass, Tea-tree oil. The most famous being the lemon-esque smell citronella which is found in candles and insect repellant. Another one was to take a B vitamin supplement or garlic capsules this was supposed to produce a smell from your skin which masked the odour of the body so they couldn’t find you.

I do not know if any of these work but with the hot weather at present these pests (as well as loads of others) are here to stay! With global warming they are not only here to stay but are going to actively seek you out as their next source of their food.

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