How much do you know about mosquitoes?
You're about to learn some amazing (and scary) facts about the mosquito. Great for trivia night too.
1. Mosquitoes are considered the most dangerous creatures on the planet, responsible for more human deaths each year than sharks, snakes, bears and lions combined.
2. In the U.S. it’s estimated that mosquitoes drain 1.6 million gallons of blood from us every year. That’s equivalent to 4 million blood transfusions.
3. Physical activity ups the risk for bites by as much as 50%. Working out builds up lactic acid in your sweat, making you more appealing.
4. Type O blood types are bitten twice as much as Type A. Type B is somewhere in the middle.
5. Mosquitoes are attracted by warmth and use thermal sensory information to track the heat signature of your body.
6. Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes. They are drawn to heat, and darker clothes retain more heat than light-colored clothing. Colors to avoid – black and navy blue.
7. Only female mosquitoes bite because they need the protein found in blood to nourish their eggs. Male mosquitoes don’t bite, but feed on fruit and plant nectar.
8. Mosquitoes are known from as far back as the Triassic Period – that’s 400 million years ago.
9. A female mosquito can lay as many as 300 eggs in one go and produce up to 3,000 offspring during her entire life span.
10. Just one bottle of beer can significantly boost your risk of being bitten, according to a study published in Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. Researchers suspect it’s because drinking beer increases the ethanol in your sweat, and ups your body temperature.
11. Beware the full moon. Studies have shown that mosquito biting activity increases by as much as 500% during a full moon.
12. Pregnant women get bitten about twice as much as the rest of us. The body temperature of pregnant women is a degree warmer than everyone else, and they exhale 21% more carbon dioxide (CO2), a known mosquito attractant.
13. In addition to mosquito bites, it’s now thought that the Zika virus may also be spread through tears and other body fluids including saliva and urine.
14. Smelly feet (and socks) are irresistible to certain mosquito species - it's actually the bacteria that grow on our feet that attract them. Limburger cheese, made with the same bacteria will also attract the biters.
15. You can’t avoid them! Mosquitoes feed day and night. Some species (Aedes) are daytime biters, others (Culex), start biting at dusk, while some will bite you all night long (Anopheles).
16. Our skin produces more than 340 chemical odors, and some of them smell like dinner to mosquitoes. That’s why people with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract more mosquitoes.
17. Mosquitoes don’t actually ‘bite’ because they don’t have teeth. Female mosquito uses a long, pointed mouth part called a proboscis to pierce the skin, locate a capillary, and then draw blood.
18. The odds of being bitten by a mosquito are better in
19. Male mosquitoes locate females by the sound of their wings. Females can beat their wings up to 500 times per second, and the males pick out the higher frequency of those beats when seeking a mate.
20. Mosquitoes generally fly below 25 feet. However, some species have also been found at extraordinary heights, including 8,000 feet up in the
21. Big people attract more mosquitoes. That’s why adults tend to get bitten more than children and why men are more likely to induce a feeding frenzy than their female companions.
22. The average mosquito lifespan is less than two months. However, females of species that hibernate can live up to six months.
23. Blondes and redheads attract more mosquitoes than brunettes, that’s because mosquitoes detect contrast, and in a crowd of people, blondes (and redheads) stand out.