Mosquitoes (Mozzies) are members of a group of almost 3,600 species of small flies within the family Culicidae. "mosquito" is Spanish and Portuguese for "little fly".
Mosquitoes have a slender segmented body, one pair of wings, one pair of halteres, three pairs of long hair-like legs, and elongated mouthparts.
A mosquito's head is equipped with a projecting proboscis that conceals and protects the long piercing and sucking mouthparts.
These biting insects have a complex life cycle; the immature stage is totally aquatic. The adult is terrestrial—the adult female returns to a water habitat for a brief period to lay each batch of eggs.
Mosquito species vary in their breeding habits, biting behaviour, host preferences and flight range. Most mosquitoes disperse less than two kilometres; some move only a few metres away from their original breeding place, others can fly some 5 or 10 kilometres, and a few species will disperse up to 50 kilometres downwind from the larval habitats.
On average, a female mosquito will live 2-3 weeks, but the male's lifespan is shorter.
Both adult males and females will feed on nectar and plant fluids within their lifetime, but Aedes notoscriptusit is only the female that will seek a blood meal. Most species require this blood meal as a protein source for egg development.
What are mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans, and other animals emit. They also use their receptors and vision to pick up on other cues like body heat, perspiration, and skin odour to find a potential host.
Mosquitoes are a big problem.
Apart from that very unsettling buzzing noise you hear in your bedroom at night and the resulting itchy bites, mosquitoes can lead to more severe health problems.
Mosquitoes are responsible for more estimated deaths than any other animal globally because of the rate they spread diseases. And each year, there is a period of time when mosquitoes can become a real plague in Australia given the right conditions.
Common Queensland mosquito-borne diseases
• Barmah Forest virus.
• Dengue fever.
• Ross River virus.
Mosquitoes’ life cycle
The mosquito starts life as an egg, which hatches into a larva or wriggler. The larva is the growth stage of the mosquito; it actively feeds and moults four times. The four larval stages are called instars. The larva becomes a pupa, a mobile, non-feeding stage that generally only lasts 2-4 days on the last moult.
What is the mosquito season?
Summer is the high season in Australia. Breeding will go on through spring and autumn. It depends on high humidity. Ideal conditions are caused by heavy rains combined with hot weather.
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Where do Mosquitoes breed?
All mosquitoes like to breed in water that has little or no flow because so their larvae and pupae can thrive. Different types of water attract different types of mosquitoes. Permanent water mosquitoes: These mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in permanent-to-semi-permanent bodies of water.
Four common areas mosquitoes will breed around your home
1. Standing water – ponds, birdbaths, buckets, or any place that pools water
2. Clogged drains and gutters
3. Yard debris – thick vegetation, compost piles and low scrubs
4. Water bowls for pets
If you are getting smashed by mozzies, call Conquer
Termites now to tailor a treatment plan.
How to treat mosquito bites
• Wash the area with soap and water.
• Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes to reduce swelling and itching. Reapply ice pack as needed.
• Apply a mixture of baking soda and water, which can help reduce the itch response. ...
• Use an over-the-counter anti-itch or antihistamine cream to help relieve itching.
Mosquito bites are a white reddish raised bumps, usually puffy and severely itchy.
Most mosquito bites itch for 3 or 4 days. Any pinkness or redness lasts 3 or 4 days. The swelling can las 7 days.
Mosquito control methods
1. Place screens on your windows and doors
2. Use fans to create a breeze – mosquitoes are weak flyers
3. Remove excess vegetation near your home
4. Reduce standing water – mentioned above
5. Attract Mosquito eating predators – spiders, geckos
6. Plant mosquito repellent plants
7. Watch what you wear – dark clothes attract mosquitoes (sorry Goths)
1. Fogging application
This is the most effective method to eradicate mosquitoes outside. The fogging machine disperses the appropriate insecticide in a vapour mix, allowing it to penetrate spaces where the mosquitoes are harbouring.
It has a significant “knockdown” effect but no residual action. So, it usually needs to be done monthly during the high season.
2. Surface spray
Treating surfaces inside and outside with a residual insecticide can be an effective control method. Mosquitoes landing on the treated surfaces pick up the product on their legs and subsequently die.
3. Mounted aerosol dispenser (Space Sprayers)
You can purchase these yourself at your local supermarket. Buy several and mount them up high, so the product floats throughout the rooms you need mosquito control.
4. Light traps
Some effective UV Light Traps capture mosquitoes. The best machines have a carbon dioxide emitter and generate heat. If you place them away from liveable areas, like the back of your garden, you lure the mosquitoes away from you and kill them!
5. Council mosquito treatment programsMost of our local councils have mosquito prevention programs seeking out and treating breeding grounds. Call your council if you have a creek, pond, lake, or wetlands near you and have a problem.
If you are getting smashed by Mozzies, call Conquer Termites Now to tailor a treatment plan.
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