Your Ultimate Guide to Mosquitoes and How to Get Rid of Them

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Mosquitoes are flying insects from the family Culicidae meaning small gnat. They are populated all over the world except in Antarctica and some islands with polar climates, as they prefer, and need a warmer climate to survive and multiply.

There have been over 3,600 mosquito species discovered so far, and most of the females in those species feed on the blood of mammals, birds, reptiles, and some fish. Mosquitoes surprisingly need water to multiply as the eggs and larva phases live in or near water sources and feed on algae and organic matter.


Are Mosquitoes Dangerous?

Yes, mosquitoes are considered one of the most dangerous pests in the world and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, mosquito-borne diseases kill over 700,000 humans each year.

Mosquitoes can pick up and transmit various viruses and pathogens from one host to another, and can carry diseases such as:

  • Yellow fever
  • Dengue fever
  • Chikungunya
  • Malaria
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • West Nile virus
  • Eastern equine encephalitis virus
  • Western equine encephalitis virus
  • Venezuelan equine encephalitis
  • Tularemia
  • Zika
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • Heartworm disease


While a few plants are pollinated by mosquitoes, and they might play a part in the ecosystem, they are far more dangerous for humankind than useful.

This is one of the reasons why so many ways to repel and combat mosquitoes have been developed including management and control of the population, disease prevention, and insecticides.

What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?

Mosquitoes are in the fly family and their morphology looks similar, so they have one pair of light wings with distinct scales on the surface, and thin long legs. All mosquitoes have slender bodies with a head, thorax and abdomen defined.

The head has long, segmented antennae for picking up various signals from the environment and segmented eyes that develop in adult mosquitoes. The females have a distinctive feeding mouth part called a proboscis.

Females are smaller but more dangerous considering they need to feed on blood to reproduce and lay eggs. Male mosquitoes feed on honeydew and nectar for energy, and they are bigger specimens than females.

Mosquitoes range from 0.1 inches to 0.7 inches, and come in a variety of colors and patterns depending on the species. Eggs, pupa, and larvae stages of mosquitoes live in or near water sources where they take up to 40 days to fully develop into adults.

Types of Mosquitoes

There are thousands of types of mosquitoes, and this versatile insect inhabits almost all parts of the Earth. Mosquitoes prefer some people over others and usually go for “O” blood type, heavy breathers, pregnant women, and people with naturally higher body temperature.

There are a few types that are most common in the United States including:

Culex Mosquitoes

This might be the most common type of mosquito that is active during the night and loves to feed on human blood.

They are famous for transmitting various diseases including West Nile Virus and Western Equine Encephalitis.

Anopheles Mosquitoes

Malaria-transmitting Anopheles mosquitoes are common in Eastern and Western U.S. They prefer human hosts and are mostly active at dusk and dawn, both indoors and outdoors.

Aedes Mosquitoes

Unlike most mosquitoes, these bite during the daytime, and humans are their preferred sources of food and nutrients. The Aedes can transmit Zika, Yellow Fever, Dengue, and other diseases.

Common Treatments for Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are very resilient and persistent insects that multiply fast and live for a few months as adults. This makes them an even bigger health threat and nuance people have to deal with all year round, but especially during the warmer months.

To fight against the mosquitoes a lot of techniques have been tried and tested, including the prevention of breeding with genetically designed male mosquitoes that are not fertile. Some species that are natural enemies of mosquitoes like fishes and lizards are populated in problematic areas.

But, as daily prevention, it’s a good idea to use repellants in spray or creams you can apply topically. Other popular repellents include lightable coils and incense sticks, as well as foggers.

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