The life of an adult mosquito is four-eight weeks long. The mouthparts of mosquitoes are adapted to pierce the skin of animals and plants. Males feed on nectar and the juices of plants while the females have to feed on blood to obtain nutrients in order to lay eggs. Over 3,500 species of mosquitoes are to be found in the world.
The females of some species feed on humans and are the cause of many infectious diseases. Egg development and blood digestion are two vital events in the life of female mosquitoes. They serve as a vector to transmit viruses and parasites from one individual to another.
Mosquito control is crucial for getting rid of harmful mosquitoes and the illnesses spread by them. It is estimated that mosquitoes spread illnesses to more than 700 million individuals in Asia, Africa, Mexico, Central America and South America. Numerous deaths are the result of contagious diseases caused by the bites of mosquitoes.
In the time when mosquito control was less common, thousands of deaths were caused every year. Malaria and yellow fever were known to be the result of by mosquito bites. WestNile disease is also borne by mosquitoes. Dengue disease and Encephalitis are other infectious diseases caused by mosquitoes.
Natural enemies of mosquitoes include the dragonfly which helps control the population of mosquitoes by eating them. The reaction to the bites of mosquitoes can be immediate or delayed. The irritation on the bites is the result of an immunity response.
A number of anti-itch treatments are available on the market. Some medicines are taken orally while others are for external use only. Itching can be reduced by applying an adhesive tape to the area of the bite or by sucking on the area through a straw.
A very effective anti-inflammatory agent is Tea tree oil, which lessens itching. Insecticides may also be used to eradicate the larvae of the mosquito. Source reduction is a very effective way to control mosquitoes by removing still water. Biocontrol is a different remedy by which natural enemies of mosquitoes are used to control their population.
Chemical pesticides will kill adult mosquitoes because they are the most harmful from the point of view of spreading disease. DDT was used for the control of mosquitoes on a big scale but now it’s use is banned in some countries. Different types of repellents are used to discourage mosquitoes from attacking. DEET is used as an effectual repellent.
Picaridin and IR3535 are also very widely used CDC-recommended repellents. Oil of Eucalyptus is a natural repellent and it is highly recommended. It is very important to take safety precautions to protect yourself from the contagious diseases carried by mosquitoes.