Knowing Your Mosquitoes When Outdoors

by John Grimes - Date: 2007-04-11 - Word Count: 394 Share This!

Scratching. Buzzing. Biting. Itching and even disease. All brought to you by the friendly mosquito. As spring blooms, it helps to know the different types of mosquitoes before heading outdoors.

Most people know that mosquitoes are carriers of some really nasty diseases. Looking past this generality, however, leads one to discover some truly amazing statistics. For instance, do you know up to three million people a year die from disease directly delivered through a mosquito bite? That is pretty scary.

Mosquitoes are also fairly scary because there are simply a ton of them. Over 150 different species are known. More troubling, each of these species exhibits unique characteristics including where they can be found, when they are active, when they breed, when the feed and so on. The general belief that mosquitoes only bite during the periods of dusk and dawn simply are not true. As a whole, more mosquitoes are active at that time, but you can be bitten at high noon just as well.

A couple species of mosquitoes are down right frightening. They might be referred to as super treacherous given the diseases they carry. Let's take a quick look.

The Northern House Mosquito is one you are probably familiar with. It is found in cities and urban areas. It is a biter par excellence, but generally sticks to feeding during dusk and dawn. Although common, it can be a carrier of some nasty diseases. They include West Nile Virus and Encephalitis.

The ultimate terror amongst mosquitoes, however, is the Asian Tiger Mosquito. A true bad boy. The Asian Tiger is a carrier of some ugly diseases. Dengue Fever, Encephalitis and Heart Worm are three in particular. Yes, Heart Worm is what you think it is. A parasite, the heartworm, burrows into your heart. If it reproduces, you can die of heart failure. Now, that is just nasty.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito is also problematic for practical reasons. First, most people mistakenly believe it is found only in Asia. Despite its name, it is present more or less around the world, including the United States. Second, the species has feeding characteristic that defies convention. It feeds during the day, not dusk or early morning.

After reading an article such as this, one might be tempted to stay inside with a fly swatter all day. Fortunately, this is not necessary. Just use insect repellent and you should be fine.

Related Tags: fever, fishing, hiking, outdoors, recreation, climbing, camping, mosquitoes, heartworm, encephalitis

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