Mosquitoes are classified in the family Culicidae. They are described as small flying insects about 3-6mm long, slender, long legged, and with piercing and sucking mouthparts.
Mosquitoes are vectors of some of the world's most serious diseases, including Dengue fever, Ross River and Malaria. More and more cases are being reported each year across northern Australia.
TYPES OF MOSQUITOS
- Brown House Mozzie - (Culex quinquefasciate) - feeds at night and often found indoors
- Domestic Container Mozzie - (Aedes notoscriptlus) - feeds day and night, often in shaded areas.
- Common Banded Mozzie - (Culex annullrostris) - feeds mostly at night and is a carrier of Ross River Fever.
- Grey Striped Mozzie - (Aedes vittiger) - feeds day and night mostly outdoors.
THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE MOSQUITO
- Fertilized eggs are laid by female mosquitoes in the body of water. The females carefully select the site according to temperature, salinity and oxygen level.
- In two days the embryo in the egg developments dependent on temperature. Some species which have drought resistant eggs, the embryo remains in the egg until it floods, then egg hatches.
- The first instar larva molts, shedding skin to form a larger second instar larva. This process is repeated twice more to produce a larger fourth instar larva. At the end of the development phase, it molts to form a pupa. At this stage the larval tissue is completely reformed, producing an adult insect.
- Male mosquitoes emerge 24 hours prior to the females. The insects are vulnerable until their cuticle hardens. In 24-48 hours the female mates, then searches for a blood meal.
- Within 48-96 hours the eggs are dependent to temperature for development; then the cycle starts again.
- The number of eggs laid can vary from less than 50 to more than 200; depending on the species and nutritional state of the insect.
You can limit mozzies in your home by taking a few simple precautions, - remove unnecessary water containers - fix leaking taps and pipes – keep screens/ doors closed – apply insect repellent – install a fan outside, they are weak fliers
DID YOU KNOW?
- Mosquitos are the DEADLIEST animal on Earth
- They only require a puddle of water to breed
- They can fly up to speeds of 3kms per hour
- Only the females bite
- Males feed on plants
- They can sense food (YOU) from 30 meters!!!