By Reece and Ms. Laine
Mosquitoes are small flying insects that live in warm climates. Like all insects, mosquitoes have six legs, a head, a thorax, and abdomen. Not all mosquitoes are the same. There are actually over 4,000 different species of mosquito which all look and behave in different ways.
Some mosquitoes like to live in rural
environments like swamps, while others like to
live in urban spaces like the city! Even though
mosquito species behave differently, they all
have some things in common. All mosquitoes
have antenna which they use to smell and l
ong mouth parts called proboscises which
they use to feed. The male mosquitoes only
feed on nectar and other plant juices, while
the females feed on mammal blood.
Female mosquitoes prey on lots of different
mammals, including humans. Unfortunately
for us, mosquitoes are vectors for nasty diseases like malaria and yellow fever. If an infected mosquito bites a human, they release virus-filled spit into the person’s blood stream, which will make them sick. Because mosquitoes carry diseases, it is important to manage their populations. Less mosquitoes, less bites. The less bites, less chance for people to get sick!
Mosquito populations are controlled in several different ways, but the most common is to spray insecticides. Insecticides are substances which are toxic to insects. The first insecticides came from plants. Because they couldn’t run away or fight off the bugs using cool karate skills, plants had to develop a defense mechanism that worked for their limited mobility. Scientists studied these natural insecticides and used them to create synthetic versions which are used on a large scale today to
Southern House Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito
keep pests off of commercial produce grown on farms. Both natural and synthetic insecticides are toxic. After all, they are meant to kill bugs. It is important to use these products in moderation because they can harm the ecosystem if we are not careful, so remember to think before you spray!