Everyone knows that mosquitoes are annoying insects. They bite you, they leave itchy marks, and many are carrying viruses. There are 3,000 known species of mosquitoes, and only 80 of them actually bite people. It takes just five days for a mosquito to grow from an egg to a full-grown mosquito. You likely know that mosquitoes are annoying, but there are 10 things you need to know about mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes Can Fly Great In Bad Weather
The average raindrop is 50 times heavier than the average mosquito, yet mosquitoes can still fly in the rain. If a Boeing 747 were hit with a similarly scaled raindrop, there would be 2,375 tons of water coming down on it. This would certainly knock the plane out of the sky immediately. Some people think that insects are quick and agile enough to fly around the raindrops, but this has since been proven false. A team of engineers from the Georgia Institute of Technology watched real mosquitoes and Styrofoam mosquitoes with a high-speed camera on a rainy day. They discovered that they cannot dodge the drips, but they fly so slowly in the rain, that it keeps them from getting knocked out of the sky. The raindrop doesn’t have enough momentum when the mosquito is flying slowly so that they can remain in the sky during a rainstorm.
Texas If the Mosquito Capital of America
If you hate mosquitoes, the last place that you should move to is Texas. Of the 3,000 species of mosquitoes that exist, 150 of them are found in the United States, and 85 different species live in Texas.
Mosquitoes Are Deadly
It is the female mosquito that stings and sucks blood from people. They are also the primary transmitter of disease, which makes them one of the deadliest creatures in the world. Every year, the malaria parasites that they transmit kills between 2 and 3 million people every year, and another 200 million more are infected, but these people are treated. Mosquitoes also spread pathogens that can cause dengue fever, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile Virus, and Rift Valley fever.
Some Mosquitoes Are Harmless
Not all mosquitoes suck blood from people, and of those that do, not all of them transmit diseases. Some don’t even need to bite to feed themselves. Male mosquitoes live solely on nectar and other plant fluids. Female mosquitoes also have a primarily plant-based diet. Females typically feed on living things when they are ready to reproduce because they need the lipids, proteins, and nutrients that are found in blood so that they can produce eggs.
Mosquitoes Help the Environment
Many mosquitoes play an important role in the environment. There are two species, the Aedes impiger and Aedes nigripes gather in the thick clouds over Russia and Canada, and they are a food source for migrating birds. Farther south, they are food for salamanders, frogs, lizards, fish, spiders, and other insects. Some plants also rely on mosquitoes for nutrition such as the monkeyface orchid and the plunt-leaved orchid.
Mosquitoes Are Amazing Hunters
Mosquitoes can smell the chemicals given off by humans, which is how they find their hosts. They can also detect the carbon dioxide in our breath and sweat. This lets them know that there is a meal nearby. Mosquitoes are capable of picking up these scents from hundreds of feet away. They also tend to go after people wearing dark clothing, because these people are easier to spot.
Mosquitoes Can Be Picky
If you are sitting beside someone and the mosquitoes are more interested in biting you than them, there is a reason. Some people give off more odors, and chemicals that the mosquitoes sense and go after.
Female Mosquitoes Have Mouths That Are Primed For Sucking Blood
A mosquito cannot just come over and start sucking your blood. Their mouths are sheathed, and this is the part that does all of the biting. The mandibles and maxillae come in pairs, and this is the part that pierces the skin. The hypopharynx and the abrum are used to deliver saliva and draw blood when they bite.
Mosquito Saliva Prevents the Blood From Clotting
Mosquitoes contain certain chemicals that keep your blood from clotting after you are bitten.
Mosquitoes Can Explode
It is believed that if you flex your muscle when a mosquito bites you that too much blood can fill up in their stomachs, and they will explode. Entomologists believe that this is false. They say that it is more complicated. To make a mosquito explode, you have to sever their ventral nerve cord, which transmits the information that they are full. When this nerve is cut, the mosquito will keep feeding and feeding until they literally explode.