Mosquito is one of the most dangerous animals in the world. It is estimated to have caused 700,000 death in one year alone. It is dangerous due to the fact that mosquito can carry viruses and other parasites. This allows mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue fever, Yellow fever, Malaria, Chikungunya, West Nile Virus and Zika to spread. Controlling these diseases is harder than before due to the world population growth, urbanization and frequent travelers.
They are small, two-wing flies. The female mosquito differs because of their long, slender proboscis. They use a tubular feeding organ adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. The male use their proboscises only for sucking plant juices and other sources of sugar. Only the female bite human for its blood. They need the blood for its protein and iron to produce eggs.
Hot, humid environments are most amenable to their growth and survival. Infestations can occur easily in tropical areas. However, they are capable of thriving in a variety of locations and can successfully grow in numbers even when not in their natural habitat. Many species of mosquitoes use containers of water as egg-deposit sites.
They go through 4 stages before becoming an adult mosquito. Starting off from eggs to larvae to pupa before becoming an adult. Most mosquito will lay their eggs in the water although the eggs can still survive without water for a long period of time. Larvae and pupa, on the other hand, cannot survive without water.
Eggs to larvae
It can take about 12-24 hours for the egg to hatch. It varies due to the condition. For example, under optimal condition, an Aedes Mosquito can take less than 1 day to hatch.
Larvae to Pupa
It will take about 7 days. The larvae will go thru a molting period. This period is divided into 4 stages. They are First In-Star, Second In-Star, Third In-Star and Fourth In-Star. An expert can determine how long the breeding has taken place by identifying the stages of the larvae.
Pupa to Adult
Within 2-3 days, an emerging adult will start to form. Its body will start to harden and it is able to start flying.
Adult Mosquito lifespan
Male has a very short lifespan. They can live for up to 10 days or less. If you think about it, it might take them longer to form than stay alive. Female can live up to 6-8 weeks in which they will lay eggs about every 3 days.
Mosquitoes In Singapore
There are about 3000 to 3500 mosquito species in the world. In the United States, it is believed to have about 176 species of mosquitoes. However, these are the 3 most common type of mosquito found in Singapore.
Appearance: Black to dark brown
Known for: Transmitting Malaria
Feeding time: Early hours of the morning and 5 pm to 10 pm in the evening
Appearance: Brown to dark brown
Known for: Transmitting West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis
Feeding time: Midnight to 5 am
Appearance: Black and white marking on the legs and body
Known for: Transmitting Dengue, Yellow Fever, chikungunya, Zika
Feeding time: Most active during 7am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm
Not all mosquitoes will transmit diseases. It will only transmit disease if it has fed the blood of an infected person or host. And as mentioned before, only female will bite a human or any host. It will use it’s sharp tip proboscis ( Straw-like mouth) to pierce through a human or host skin. From there it will be able to locate the blood vessel and release saliva into the bite. This will allow them to keep drawing the blood.
Your body immune system is able to detect the mosquito saliva and produce histamine to fight it. The histamine will cause your blood vessel to react. This is how the bump will appear. Everyone has different reactions to mosquito bites. Some will develop a puffy and reddish bump. Other can develop a hard, reddish-brown swell. We have seen cases where the host develops a bruise like swelling from the bites.
Mosquito bites itch can lead you to start scratching the bump thus, causing irritation to your skin.
Instead, do this:
- Wash with bump and apply calamine lotion
- Apply a cold and wet towel over the bump. This will help with the itch and swelling
Mosquito bites can lead to an allergic reaction.
Some of the more serious reaction:
- A large part of the bite area is itching
- Hive around the bite
The bump can be visible up to a few days. However, should you develop any of these symptoms below, please seek medical attention immediately.
- Fatigue and severe headache
What are mosquito are more attracted to
When humans exhale carbon dioxide, they are able to lock a specific area of activities. Adult tends to exhale more than children, thus why adults are more prone for the mosquito bites.
Our body heat enables them to zero in on us and identifies where to bite. Our blood is closer to areas such as forehead, wrist and neck. This is also why human drinking alcohol attract them Our body temperature increase when we drink.
They are attracted to fragrance and floral scent. Lactic acid, which can be found in sweat, secretes naturally thus attracting them.
Studies have shown that they are more attracted to type O blood than the rest.
Avoid wearing dark coloured clothing if you are planning to do outdoor activities such as camping or picnic.
They exhale more carbon dioxide, has higher body temperature and more blood circulation.
Preventing mosquito bites
- Use insect repellent on your skin to prevent bites and stings
- Wear light coloured clothes
- Wash your body regularly to remove any lactic acid
- Understand their feeding timing and avoid staying outdoor during those timing
Signs of mosquito infestation
Mosquitoes prefer stagnant water or standing water within which to lay their eggs. Your mosquito control plan is to prevent them from breeding. Learn more about it in our mosquito control page.
Most affected areas:
- Other wetland habitats
Common breeding spots
- Tin cans
- Plants stem
- Discarded tires
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