By Owen Jones

There are more than 3,500 species of the mosquito and they have been about for over 30 million years. The word mosquito derives from the Spanish and Portuguese word for little fly. They are similar to crane flies and chironomid flies. Mosquitoes are a member of the Culicidae family, which means midge or gnat.

Both males and females feed on nectar and plant juices, but in some species, the female has to feed on humans, because she needs the nutrients protein and iron to help her produce eggs. The females? feeding on humans causes many contagious diseases that has an effect on millions of humans every year.

The adult female lays her eggs in still water. This could be a lake, bucket of water, a puddle, and in some cases, a few droplets on a plant.

The mosquito is a holometabolous insect. This means that it will go through four phases which are outlined here:

The first stage is the larvae. This is the recently hatched stage of various insects that differ significantly from the adult.

The next stage is called the pupa. This is a non-feeding time that takes place between the larvae and the adult phases.

The pupa floats on the water and the adult mosquito will emerge from the pupa at this time. The adult mosquito lives between four and eight weeks.

The mosquito has three senses. They are chemical, visual, and heat. There are certain things that attract a mosquito to a person.

Carbon dioxide and lactic acid attract a mosquito. These are found in warm blooded mammals and birds. Regular breathing puts out these types of gases. Some perspiration will also send off these gases.

Garments that contrast with the backdrop will interest a mosquito also. Heat is easily detected by a mosquito.

Mosquitoes can be discovered in a cool spot during the day when it is hot. If they are disturbed, they will bite during this time. They are more lively whilst it is cooler.

Mosquitoes are known to infect humans with many kinds of diseases. They carry viruses and parasites from human to human. Some common viral illnesses are malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and Chikungunya.

It is likely that more than two million people die from these diseases every year. It has been discovered that most of these illnesses are carried by ?elderly? females.

There are many products on the market to help avoid mosquito bites and chancing acquiring a deadly disease. Many of these products contain DEET. It is highly recommended. DEET can also be applied full strength, but 20-50% is usually strong enough.

Some of the brand name insect repellents are: Off, Cutter, White Mountain, and Repel. There are also candles, wipes, nets, traps, and foggers obtainable on the market. There are also organic repellents on the market. You can also make your own repellent.

Smoke from campfires and mud or clay assists keep mosquitoes from biting. Some herbs, such as Rosemary, will also keep mosquitoes away.

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