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Mosquitoes

Order Diptera, Family Culicidae

Biology, Elimination, Disease

Biology Mosquito Control Diseases

Mosquitoes are among the most common biting pests of people, often carrying diseases which affect humans, pets, livestock and wildlife.  St. Louis Encephalitis, Equine Encephalitis and the West Nile Virus are just three such diseases transmitted to humans via mosquito bites.  Dogs can also be affected by this flying pest in the form of heartworms.

Mosquito Biology and Habits

 This flying pest can be found in most parts of the world, from the tropics to artic regions.  Mosquitoes are the only means of transmission of certain casual agents of malaria, yellow fever, dengue, filariasis and some types of encephalitis.
More on Mosquitoes and Disease

Eggs are laid on the surface of water, either singly or in groups (or rafts) of 30 to 300.  Larvae live in water but must either surface for air or obtain oxygen from the underwater portions of plants.  The larvae eat other mosquito larvae and obtain air from the water surface through an abdominal siphon.  These immature insects go through four instars (usually in a 4 to 10 day period) before forming  into pupae.  This pupa also lives in water and is also active.  This stage can last for 1 day or as long as a few weeks.  Males usually emerge first, waiting nearby for the females to emerge.
Adult females suck the blood of vertebrates but also take plant fluids and nectar.  The males feed on plant fluids, nectar and honeydew.  The females of the species can spread serious diseases to animals and humans.

Generally, the peak biting periods of mosquitoes occur just before and after dark, and again just before dawn. However, each species has its own peak period of biting activity. Male mosquitoes do not bite, but feed on the nectar of flowers and plant juices. At other times, outside the biting periods, adult mosquitoes can be found resting in grass, shrubbery, or other foliage.

Biology Mosquito Control Diseases

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mosquitoes