Ready to enjoy a day outdoors hunting, fishing, playing, or hiking some trails? Not without protection. Keep those arms and legs covered, or sprayed with Zone Insect Repellent, and arm yourself against mosquitoes with these interesting facts about the biggest and most irritating insects out there.
Only Female Mosquitoes Bite Humans
Did you know that when you get bitten by mosquitos, you’re actually only being bitten by the females of the species? Females need to feed on protein from mammal blood, so the proteins can help them produce eggs, (see fact number 3) whereas male mosquitoes only feed on flower nectar. Never fear though, because once mating season is over, female mosquitoes return to dining on flowers to sustain them.
Mosquitoes suck, but they don’t actually bite.
Mosquitos actually don’t have teeth, and as such can’t bite you. Instead, they have a long mouth called a proboscis which pokes through your top layer of skin, (that’s where you feel the bite) to suck blood from the tiny capillaries that run throughout it. It works kind of like a reverse injection needle, using a teeny hole, they can draw blood up for nourishment. The protein in the blood is used to help produce eggs so they can create more mosquitos.
Big Families, Short Lives
In one batch of eggs (called a raft), female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at one time. And that’s almost more than twice the size of the average American High School Graduating Class! They usually lay three rafts of eggs over their lifetimes in delicate clusters on top of standing water. Those babies born will live long, full, and healthy lives, which for mosquitos is about five to six months. Talk about living fast and dying young!
Don’t mind the buzz
You know that sound, that harsh buzzing that heralds the arrival of our favorite biting insects. But did you know that audible bzzzzzz is actually the sound of each mosquitos wings beating 300 - 600 times per second? That’s five times faster than North American Hummingbirds, whose wings beat only fifty-three times per second. Wow!
Insects are a Tasty Part of the Ecosystem
While super annoying to mammals like us, mosquitoes are actually a critical source of nutrients for amphibians and fish. In turn, they’re key parts of our ecosystem on the planet earth and things that we humans couldn’t live without. Nevertheless, due to their frequent reproduction and short lifespans, we can fight back against mosquitos, without wrecking our planet, and keep ourselves comfortable in the process.
More Aggressive Mosquitoes Live in the Chillier Weather
Every year, mosquitos, like some wilderness animals, hibernate too. They are cold-blooded (like reptiles) and prefer that it stay hot, namely, over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets too cold, and the temperatures fall below 50 degrees, they hibernate and fall asleep for the winter. When they wake, watch out, because much like a hungry bear awaking in the spring, mosquitos are looking to feed.
There you have it, the most interesting facts about the super annoying seasonal insects, mosquitos. So when you hear that buzz passing by your ear, take a minute to consider what an interesting piece of nature these insects are, and how important they are to developing the ecosystem.
Then, of course, reach for the Zone Insect Repellent.