Summertime is one of my favourite seasons, the longer days, the warm weather, BBQ’s and not to mention the start of festival season. Unfortunately, there is one insect which just loves to ruin a good picnic, mosquitoes!
However, after speaking to our expert entomologists for some tips on how to prevent mosquitoes, and doing some of my own research, I came across some rather interesting facts. So, here are 10 interesting facts about mosquitoes you need to know!
1.Only female mosquitoes bite
I was a bit surprised about this, as I thought all mosquitoes bite, but no it is only the females that like to use us as a tasty midnight feast.
Why do mosquitoes bite?
Female mosquitoes bite to feed on your blood. The protein and other compounds provide mosquitoes with a tasty feast that is essential to help them produce and develop their eggs. Find out how to avoid and treat mosquito bites.
2. Mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animals
When someone mentions the term ‘world’s deadliest animals’ you probably start thinking of sharks, tigers, crocodiles and other fierce creatures.
Well, it may shock you to learn that it’s actually mosquitoes. Why? Well, it’s down to the harmful diseases that they are known to spread.
Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading several harmful diseases such as Malaria, Zika and Dengue to name a few. It is believed that as a result of this, mosquitoes are responsible for around 1 million deaths per year! Rentokil Initial UK has proudly supported MalariaNoMoreUK since 2011 based on our shared objective of tackling Malaria
3. The average Mosquito would be terrible in the Olympics
Now I’m not talking about Brazil’s summer Olympics with the threat of Zika, I’m talking about if mosquitoes entered the Olympics with all the other insects.
In comparison to other insects such as flies and wasps, mosquitoes aren’t the strongest of fliers and are quite slow. It is estimated that these biting insects can only fly at speeds between 1 and 1.5 mph so you can’t expect them to be breaking Usain Bolt’s 100m world record anytime soon!
4. Mosquitoes are big fans of Dirty Dancing
Well, I don’t know if this is 100% accurate as I haven’t asked any mosquitoes what their favourite film is, but like Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in the hit film from the 80s mosquitoes have their own unique dance.
It has been discovered that before mating mosquitoes engaged in a sort of dance which involves beating their wings in a call-and-response type of manner. Amazing right?!
5. Mosquitoes love CO2
To be honest they have a bit of an addiction to it. Carbon dioxide is one of the main ways in which mosquitoes locate their next feast. They use a special organ called a maxillary palp to follow the smell of CO2 released from our breath.
6. There are a lot of species of mosquitoes
And I mean a lot!
According to the American Mosquito Control Association, there are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world. You are also able to find out about the most common UK species of mosquitoes on our websites.
7. Mosquitoes are greedy
We all know mosquitoes like to enjoy the tastiness of human blood. But did you know they can drink a ridiculous amount of blood based on their body size.
Studies have revealed that mosquitoes are able to drink 3 times their own body weight in blood. Now that’s a lot!
8. Mosquitoes don’t live long
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about one mosquito becoming the bane of your existence causing itchy bites for eternity. Why? Well, these biting insects have a very short life span. It is estimated that mosquitoes live less than 2 months!
9. Mosquitoes are really old
Mosquitoes are as old as the Dinosaurs, with evidence of these biting insects dating back to the Triassic Period!
If you’ve seen the film Jurassic Park then this comes as no surprise as you’ll know that they used the blood found in fossilised mosquitoes to clone the infamous creatures to fill the park.
10. Mosquitoes don’t only bite humans
So after reading fact 6, you might be a bit scared due to the number of mosquitoes there are. But don’t worry as not every mosquito has a craving for human blood. Some species prefer to consume their blood cravings from other animals such as frogs and birds.