Mosquitoes… — Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Sat, Jun 25, 2022

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Mosquitoes…

Many people including me dislike mosquitoes. Oh, what a horrible curse upon humanity these annoying zooming birds are! No, I must not say that! Not only out of the respect of birds, but also because we can learn from our enemies. We should be thankful for them!

A picture of a mosquito with the text 'rare picture of the only female attracted to me'.

Figure 1: A picture of a mosquito with the text “rare picture of the only female attracted to me”.

Where do they come from?

You often find mosquitoes close to water, since they lay their eggs in water. Around a hundred eggs a time! They dislike wind, and are often seen around dawn and dusk. The females suck your blood to be able to raise an army of kids! The males only require nectar, and don’t bite.

The buzzing sound which these creatures make, happens because their wings flap around eight-hundred times a second. Female mosquitoes are the deadliest monsters on Earth. They can carry many diseases. Global efforts to stop the spread of mosquitoes are having little effect.

We can’t make them extinct. But fear not! There are ways to avoid the inconveniences you experience! Making them extinct is a dangerous game with nature. Most mosquitoes prefer to bite horses over humans, but getting a horse to avoid mosquito bites is likely a bad idea. The majority of mosquito species aren’t deadly. Not all species consume human blood either.

History and disease

Many ways to defeat mosquitoes have been tried. Some attempts have resulted in killing more things than wanted. Plants, or candles aren’t very effective. Not all traps seem to do much either! Some things target the larves. Others target the adults. Most sprays I have used weren’t effective at all either. Research anything you plan to use before buying.

DDT was used against mosquitoes, and some say it is the most effective weapon against them. It is banned in most countries, since it is moderately toxic. DDT-resistant mosquitoes exist, and they have increased in numbers. Thus DDT might not be as effective as some people think.

A diagram which displays information about the war against mosquitoes.
A diagram which displays information about the war against mosquitoes. It might be a good idea to open the image in a new tab. I couldn't find the source of the image.

Creatures of war

There is a rumor that the Nazi’s had a plan to unleash mosquitoes on the Italians! The living conditions for the mosquitoes to breed outside of the laboratory were not ideal. Thus the plan didn’t continue. Japanese attacks in China are the only verified instance of entomological warfare during World War II. Japan used fleas and flies to infect the Chinese.

The United States has researched the use of mosquitoes for war during the Cold War. They also researched entomological warfare in non-combat situations. The United States had a plan to drop caterpillars on coca fields as a part of the War on Drugs.

Possible future plans

The United States suggested that insects can be genetically engineered. Technologies like CRISPR could create GMO “killer mosquitoes”. There is a lot of research going on around entomological warfare.

What attracts mosquitoes?

There is no way easy to know what mosquitoes are exactly after. Some like sweat. Others are more attracted to body odors. Genetics also play a role. Some of them seem to be attracted to people who drank beer. The amount of CO2 your body releases might be the greatest factor.

A hungry vampire anime girl says she is hungry. This picture has the caption 'mosquito which tries to bite me:'.

Preventing mosquitoes

A google search box with the text 'how to bite a mosquito back'.

Don’t let them in!

The most effective way of preventing mosquitoes is to not let them enter in the first place. Close windows at dusk and dawn. Sadly they are able to enter your house without being invited. Get rid of standing water if possible. A bottle cap of water is enough for them to reproduce.

Using an electric fan can help. It makes it harder for them to detect the CO2, with the additional benefit of making it harder for them to fly to your direction.

Mosquito nets are very effective, but you have to make sure that there is air between your skin and the net. Mosquitoes can bite right through the net. You need to think about that when you select one. I would recommend a square one. A circular one more easily touches your skin unless you put part of it under the mattress. It is more annoying to setup. Pop-up nets seem the most convenient, if you are moving often.

Don’t bother with sprays or traps. Try a mosquito net first. It is more likely to work, and is a permanent solution

Places which are relatively safe from mosquitoes

Disney World

Iceland