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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Power Of Mosquitoes and Their Bites

As the summertime heat comes to an end and the nights become longer, mosquitos come out to play. Mosquitos are one of the deadliest insects in the world, their bites are more dangerous to humans than to any other species; Mosquito bites kill hundreds of thousands of people each year worldwide and sicken even more.

As of 2023, 364 people have died from mosquitos.They can transfer diseases to their prey such as Malaria, West Nile, Dengue, and Zika.

The definition of a mosquito in a common dictonary is “a slender long-legged fly with aquatic larvae.” The origin of the word comes from the Latin word “musca”, meaning fly. They originated from the forest areas of Sub Saharan Africa.

The majority of people are lucky enough to only have an itchy red bump on the skin. The reason a bite from a mosquito gets irritated is because as they are taking blood, they are spitting saliva into the skin as a numbing solution, which also prevents blood clotting. The mosquito’s mouth is called a proboscis and it has six thin needles that help them find the right spot to get blood efficiently.

There are over 200 types of mosquitoes in the world and 50+ in California, but the three most common in the US are Aedes, Culex, and Anopheles. 

Anopheles are also known as the “common house mosquito”and they are the ones who attack at night.

Only the female bugs bite and take blood while the males just survive from sugars and plant nectar. The reason only females are biting humans and animals is to gather protein to produce and lay their larvae, laying their eggs in still bodies of water. Some popular places where the females lay their eggs are ponds, marshes, swamps, and bird water baths. 

The life cycle of a mosquito has four stages, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The egg is the first stage. The female can lay hundreds of eggs at a time, leading to the next stage which is the larva. 

The larva hatch after the water level fully submerges them. This time frame can vary between batches and how deep or shallow the water is when they are laid. The larvas are aquatic and stay in the water until the next stage, which is pupa.

The pupa is the larva encapsulated in a protective system until it reaches the next and final stage. The last from the insect is the adult mosquito who are the ones that bite and restart the cycle. 

Mosquito repellents have been around for a long time, with the first record dating all the way back to the Egyptians who used fire smoke to wean them off. 

Nowadays, scientists have come out with multiple types of repellents to help prevent and help with the after bite. The types of repellents come in many forms, lotion, spray, candle, bracelets, etc.., but the most effective way to keep mosquitos away is lotions.

The reason lotion works the best is because the human body radiates a fatty acid smell to mosquitos and draws them in, with the lotions they add an oil called citronella, this masks the smell and unflattering scent to the mosquitos.

Besides store-bought products, the best way to keep them from biting you is by wearing baggy/loose clothes. By wearing loose clothes mosquitos have a harder time getting to your skin.

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