With warmer temps upon us, you may be thinking BBQ season. And if you’re thinking BBQ season, you may be picturing all those backyard bugs rubbing their front legs together like a villain, waiting to feast on you and your guests while you feast on your famous pork steaks. Many people simply see mosquitoes for the pests they are, without much more thought than a quick slap. But here are five interesting facts about why mosquitoes bite – literally.
- Yes, some of us really are born mosquito magnets.
Have you ever been sitting with friends and noticed that one of you is a feast while the rest of your group is merrily enjoying margaritas without as much as a slap? Your body emits a number of different compounds depending on your biological makeup, some of which repel and others deter mosquitoes. You can avoid wearing dark clothing, moving, and try to stay as cool as possible, but for some people the only solution for a bite free evening is mosquito sprays and repellents.
- Yes, you might actually be having an allergic reaction to those bites.
A tiny itch or a big reaction, some people are affected by what is known as “Skeeter Syndrome” – a localized allergic reaction to bites. While it isn’t typically serious, if you have it your bite itches more so you scratch more, and that can lead to infection.
- It’s the ladies who have the sharpest sting.
Because they need the protein found in blood to reproduce, the biters of the mosquito world are female. One day after they have feasted they can develop 400 or more eggs, that’s 400 more mosquitoes that only need a teaspoon of water to be born. Males only feed on plants – they are the vegetarians.
- It’s not always the bite, it’s what happens afterwards that is the scary part.
Mosquito borne illness is a serious public health issue, and one that can have devastating effects on people including paralysis and death. While generally contained in the United States, malaria remains a serious issue in many countries that we at Mosquito Squad of Greater St Louis have pledged to fight. Mosquitoes consume twice their body weight in blood, and when they are finished they excrete waste as they fly away. This waste is how diseases like malaria, dengue, and yellow fever are spread.
- 50 different mosquitoes in Missouri, 50 different feeding habits to contend with.
Each mosquito has a different feeding pattern – some feed during the day, others at night. Some like human blood, others prefer animals or plants. Some mosquitoes even prefer the winter. With so many different types of bites to fight, a comprehensive mosquito control plan for your yard, coupled with diligent maintenance to eliminate standing water, is your best bet.