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Mosquitoes

mosquitoes 2
  • Adaptable, living in shade or sunny areas and breed in stagnant water within one week.
  • Can be active both in the day and at night and can fly a few kilometers.
  • Mosquitoes seek their prey by the exhaled carbon dioxide and warmth of our bodies.

Introduction

  • There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, but the members of three bear primary responsibility for the spread of human diseases.
  • Anopheles mosquitoes are the only species known to carry malaria. They also transmit filariasis (also called elephantiasis) and encephalitis.
  • Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and the West Nile virus.
  • Aedes mosquitoes, of which the voracious Asian tiger is a member, carry yellow fever, Dengue, Zika and encephalitis.

Behaviour of Mosquito

  • Mosquitoes use exhaled carbon dioxide, body odors and temperature, and movement to home in on their victims.
  • Only female mosquitoes have the mouth parts necessary for sucking blood. When biting with their proboscis, they stab two tubes into the skin: one to inject an enzyme that inhibits blood clotting; the other to suck blood into their bodies.
  • They use the blood not for their own nourishment but as a source of protein for their eggs. For food, both males and females eat nectar and other plant sugars.

Mosquito Egg Biology

  • Mosquito eggs can be characterized by two major types: floodwater and permanent water eggs.
  • The females of floodwater species will lay their eggs on a moist substrate – not on standing water. It is a requirement that their eggs dry out for a period of time before they will become viable. Once they have passed through the critical drying time, they may hatch if the area is flooded by rain or by high tides.
  • Permanent water mosquito eggs are laid on the water surface either singly, or in a raft containing up to 300 eggs.The permanent water eggs cannot survive if they dry out, and therefore, must be laid in a fairly permanent source of water such as a lake or swamp. The eggs of permanent water species will hatch within about 24 hours.

Larval Stage

  • The larval stage of the mosquito is aquatic. The larvae are legless and spend a majority of time at the surface of the water. Feeding during the larval mosquito stage is accomplished through ingestion of particles filtered from the water column or surface, removal and ingestion of surface biofilms, shredding of leaves, and predation of other larvae and insects their own size or smaller.
  • The larvae provide nutrition for the nonfeeding, yet active, stage of the pupa. During the larval stage, the mosquito will shed it's skin, or molt, four times - each of the periods in between the molts is called an instar. Towards the end of the 4th instar, the mosquito larva stops feeding.

Pupal Stage

  • The pupal stage of the mosquito is also aquatic. The mosquito pupa is shaped like a comma and also spends a majority of time at the surface of the water. It is composed of two parts: the cephalothorax (the head and thorax) and the the abdomen (tail).
  • During this time the coming mouthparts, legs and wings of the adult are developing in sheaths that are curled around the underside of the cephalothorax. The pupa does not feed as it has no functional mouthparts.

Adult Stage

  • In the adult stage, male and female adult mosquitoes feed on sugars from plants and from other insects that feed on plant sugars. This is the only source of nutrition for the males as they do not feed on blood. The females use the sugar meals for energy and the blood meals for egg development.

Danger Caused by Mosquitoes

1. Transmitter of numerous human diseases which can cause death if untreated, such as: Malaria & Dengue.
2. Seek out humans for a blood meal.

Control Method

1. Sanitation of the compund to avoid potential breeding area.
2. Fogging & Larviciding.