What are Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are small, midge-like flies. Females of most species are ectoparasites, whose tube-like mouthparts (called a proboscis) pierce the hosts' skin to consume blood. Thousands of species of mosquitoes feed on the blood of various kinds of hosts, mainly vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even some kinds of fish. The saliva of the mosquito often causes an irritating rash that is a serious nuisance. Much more serious though, are the roles of many species of mosquitoes as vectors of diseases. In passing from host to host, some transmit extremely harmful infections such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses, rendering it the deadliest animal family in the world.

Prevention of Mosquitoes

1. Find and remove any puddles of water or standing water around your home to reduce breeding sites.

2. Keep grass and shrubs trimmed short; this will reduce places for flying (adult) mosquitoes to rest.

3. Keep windows and door screens in good working order.

4. Use mosquito netting over infant carriers when outdoors, especially at dusk.

5. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors, and consider staying indoors early in the morning and evening when mosquitoes are most active.

6. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

7. Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.

8. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.