5 Interesting Facts About Mosquitoes
1. Mosquitoes Are the Deadliest Animals on Earth
More deaths are associated with mosquitoes than any other animal on the planet. Mosquitoes may carry any number of deadly diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Zika, and encephalitis. Mosquitoes also carry heartworm, which can be lethal to your dog.
2. Why Do Mosquitoes Exist?
Mosquitoes exist because they're next to impossible to wipe out. Species don't exist in a vacuum; as long as they can find food and don't have environmental pressure against them, they'll continue. Mosquitoes are millions of years old as a species. In the ecosystem, they do serve as food for other species (birds, frogs, and fish) and as pollinators. The larvae eat detritus in the water, helping to clean it. There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, but only about 200 bite humans.
3. How Long Do Mosquitoes Live?
An adult mosquito may live 5–6 months. Few probably make it that long, given our tendency to slap them silly when they land on us. But in the right circumstances, an adult mosquito has quite a long life expectancy, as bugs go. Most adult females live for two to three weeks. For those that winter in your garage, though—lookout. Eggs can dry out for eight months and still hatch.
4. Mosquitoes Fly Slowly
Mosquitoes average flight speed of 1 to 1.5 miles per hour. If a race were held between all the flying insects, nearly every other contestant would beat the pokey mosquito. Butterflies, locusts, and honeybees would all finish well ahead of the skeeter.
5. All Mosquitoes Need Water to Breed—but Not Much
Just a few inches of water is all it takes for a female to deposit her eggs. Tiny mosquito larvae develop quickly in bird baths, roof gutters, and old tires dumped in vacant lots. Some species can breed in puddles left after a rainstorm. If you want to keep mosquitoes under control around your home, you need to be vigilant about dumping any standing water every few days.