10 Things you did not know about mosquitoes
Here are some fun facts about mosquitoes that you may not have known!
1 ) Mosquito means ‘little fly’ in Spanish.
The name is thought to have been coined in the 16th century. Although, in Africa, Australia and New Zealand, they are often called “Mozzies”!
2 ) A mosquito can drink up to three times its own body weight in blood
Luckily, they are quite small. It would take over one million bites to drain the average human body!
3) Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water
They can survive in as little as 2.5cm depth, so if you have drained your pool or fountain, they may still breed in the remaining puddles.
4) Mozzies find and choose their victims based on their breath and sweat
They can smell CO2, it lets them know that large mammals, in this case, humans, are nearby. Sweat is the determining factor that makes a mosquito target one person over another. They are attracted to sweat chemical signatures – often high in cholesterol, folic acid, certain bacteria and perfumes.
5) Mosquitoes have killed more people in the world, historically, than anything else
The Anopheles mosquito transmits the parasite which is known to us as Malaria. Although preventable and treatable, it still kills over a million people each year. It is believed that the illness took the life of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.
6) Bug Zappers are useless against Mozzies, and poison only helps a bit
Any biting insect ending up in a bug zapper is a happy coincidence. Insecticides may kill off a few adults, but are usually not effective against their eggs or larvae.
7) The United States may be on to something…
Some towns in the United States are breeding and releasing dragonflies in certain areas, as they feast and minimise the mosquito population! Gambusia fish are used to snack on the larvae and mosquito eggs.
8) Bats are not fond of Mozzies
Only about one percent of their diet are made up of mosquitoes as they prefer dragon flies and other larger insects.
9) There is nothing that masks your smell
Mosquito repellents cannot and will not mask your musk. They are just smelly to mosquitoes, and therefore they stay away. It is like covering yourself in faeces – people will see you; they prefer to keep their distance!
10 ) Mosquitoes are light-weight
If you have a fan blowing on you, it makes it harder for them to stick their landing. They can’t bite where they can’t land! If you don’t like direct continuous air on you, opt for a fan that rotates from side to side. This will at least disrupt their general flight.
Read more about malaria and how you can prevent it here: Malaria is preventable
We have a variety of anti-mozzie products available in-store and online at Mopani Pharmacy, view our collection here!