Spring and Summer brings sunshine, warmth, and outdoor activities. However, it also brings on mosquitoes. Summer camping trips without the presence of mosquitoes are few and far between, for those who live near water, any given day without mosquitoes may feel like a precious gift. These irritating and persistent insects can quickly become overwhelming and give the summer a negative taint.
Why Do Mosquitoes Drink Blood?
Not all mosquitoes drink blood, only the females are driven to pursue and drink human blood. Females require the protein found in blood for their egg production. Since males do not carry or lay eggs, they will never use blood as a food source. Rather, they will rely on flower nectar as their main food source. Females will also supplement their diet with nectar.
Scientists have discovered a few different factors that may influence how mosquitoes determine their victims.
- Blood Type: Have you ever been in a large group of 10+ people and only two people get bit by mosquitoes? But those two people got multiple bites, whereas others received none? Some research suggests that individuals with type O blood are the most attractive to mosquitoes.
- Pheromones: Other research shows that mosquitoes are attracted to human pheromones. Everyone has differing pheromones, depending on a variety of factors, including genetics. Some individual’s pheromones are simply more attractive to mosquitoes than others.
- CO2: We’ve talked about blood types and pheromones, but one other promising theory that has come to light in recent years is mosquitoe’s biological ability to smell and detect CO2. Humans inhale oxygen and expel CO2, meaning that all humans are susceptible to mosquito bites.
Have you ever noticed how mosquitoes tend to be more abundant near water? Female mosquitoes will lay their eggs in water, often this will be around lakes and rivers. However, I’m sure you’ve been a victim of mosquito bites in places that seem, relatively, water free. Mosquitoes only need a plastic bottle cap’s worth of water, in order to lay their eggs. Simple areas like a leaky hose, a pet’s water bowl, or a puddle, could offer all the water a mosquito needs. Other insects that are attracted to standing water include wasps, check out our Wasp Nest Removal page for more information if you are struggling with this issue.
Are Mosquitoes Dangerous?
In short, yes, mosquitoes are dangerous. Causing over 700,000 deaths worldwide every year. To put this into perspective, there are about 40 bear attacks worldwide every year, and only a portion of those are fatal. Domestic dog attacks kill 30-50 US residents each year. Finally, about 10 deaths per year are the result of a shark attack. Mosquitoes are silent killers because they can be difficult to detect, before they bite. The mosquitoes themselves do not kill people, but the diseases they carry, such as West Nile Virus, Zika Virus and Malaria, can quickly disable and take victims’ lives.
Here at Insight we offer special mosquito coverage in addition to our regular pest control treatment. If you are finding that your home has become a haven for mosquitoes, do not hesitate to contact our team to schedule a mosquito control treatment. For more information about mosquitoes, check out our service page here.