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Pest World For Kids

Mosquitoes

Did you know? Only female mosquitoes bite humans.

Mosquitoes

There are about 170 different kinds of mosquitoes in North America alone. These pests are part of the same family as houseflies and fruit flies, because they all have two clear, veined wings.

Best known as a summer pest, Mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days.

  • Size: 1/4" to 3/8"
  • Shape: Narrow, oval
  • Color: Pale brown with whitish stripes across abdomen.
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Mosquito
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Diptera
  • Family: Culicidae
  • Species: Varies

Diet:

We usually say, "I have been bitten by a mosquito", but this is not completely true. Mosquitoes do not bite. Female mosquitoes feed on plant nectar and blood. They need the protein to reproduce. To get to the blood, they pierce our skin with their "proboscis" and suck our blood. Male mosquitoes feed exclusively on plant nectars. Mosquitoes are busiest at night and will fly up to 14 miles for a blood meal. They hunt for food by detecting body heat and Carbon Dioxide, the gas we breathe out.

Habitat:

Mosquitoes breed in soft, moist soil or stagnant water sources such as storm drains, old tires, children's wading pools and birdbaths.

Impact:

Mosquitoes spread diseases such as West Nile Virusmalaria and dengue fever.

Prevention:

  • Replace all stagnant water at least once a week.
  • Remove trash from around any standing water.
  • When sleeping outdoors or in areas where mosquito populations are heavy, surround your bed with "mosquito" netting.
  • Screen windows, doors and other openings with fine mesh.
  • Avoid going outdoors at night.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin anytime you’re around mosquitoes. DEET doesn’t kill the mosquitoes. It just disorients them and they look elsewhere for food.

Find information on mosquito management at the official NPMA website.

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