The first big heat arrives and with them the music festivals, the evenings on the terrace, the sweaty nights and a whole group of insects that people generally hate: these bastards of mosquitoes. But before judging them, have we really tried to know and understand them? Are we really able to burst them for no reason on our walls covered in little bloodstains? Are we better than them who come to steal small doses of blood while we exploit the animal world to feed ourselves? I admit that tour like that the last question is obvious, but for the others we suggest you learn a little more over this top.
1. They all feed on blood?
No, not at all, that’s not even the case with most mosquitoes. In general, they need nectar, sweet fruit juice that they grab directly from ripe fruit. Even laboratory mosquitoes are fed sugar water. Some species need to feed on blood, but only females do this out of a need for motherhood: blood helps develop their eggs. Do you feel guilty for all the mosquitoes you’ve bumped into in your life? You are right.
2. Is it true that they squat in places with water?
Yes it is, but it’s the places with standing water to be precise. So if you’re near the sea it’s fine, on the other hand as soon as you have your little evening by the lake, near a canal or a pond you are literally in their nightclub and the theme is meat party. All this comes from the fact that the females lay directly on the water, they lay their eggs which remain there for a good week before hatching and giving aquatic larvae. And since it’s the females that bite… You get the idea.
3. Are there people who attract mosquitoes more?
Already you should know that some mosquitoes are more attracted to specific animals than humans, but for those who like to feed on our blood it seems that size and weight are factors. Basically they are attracted to the heat produced by the body so they would prefer larger targets. Obviously men would be more affected than women and adults more affected than children, but that does not prevent them from biting everyone in general to work on their surprise effect.
4. Is it true that they only bite in the evening and at night?
Overall mosquitoes are more out when the sun begins to disappear since they do not like the light too much, but a recent study conducted by the Pasteur Institute in Bangui has shown that nearly 30% of mosquito bites do indeed take place day. So keep this phrase in mind: “No rest for the skins”, a phrase that would make a very good mixtape title for a dermatologist rapper.
5. Do mosquitoes kill their prey?
Yes and no. No, because in reality the mammals they bite are not prey, they just want a little blood. But on the other hand mosquitoes kill indirectly since they are vectors of a huge number of diseases, it is even the biggest vector of pathogens for human beings. It is because of this that mosquitoes are the animals that kill the most in the world with an average of more than 700,000 humans killed each year by disease transmission (malaria). Real motherfuckers as you can see in this photo of a mosquito bumping into a flower.
6. Are there places where there are no mosquitoes?
YES, it’s called paradise. But before going to the afterlife to enjoy a world without bites, know that there are no mosquitoes in Antarctica and Iceland either. If living in Antarctica seems to be rather difficult on a daily basis (as a reminder, it’s super hard to make a niche on the ice), living in Iceland is quite possible. However, don’t worry, with global warming there is a chance that in a few years these places will be warm enough to know the arrival of these little crap and that we will all die.
7. Are there things that attract them?
Already avoid stagnant water in your home, like flower pots with reservoir that remains full for several days. It would seem that in terms of clothing, color can play a role, mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors such as black, but also to red and orange. Garlic smells scare them away but will also scare away other humans, favor basil and peppermint. Lemongrass is actually only active for a few minutes and isn’t the best natural repellent, if you want the best stuff it’s pyrethrum, a plant that you can find in aerosol extract.
8. Are there things that repel them?
Some colors do not repel them but may avoid attracting them, such as green, purple and blue. They are also attracted to smells, especially the smell of sweat, so washing up is good for other humans too. They would also be more attracted to people with blood type O, but this is not 100% clear. If mosquitoes really piss you off, then change your blood group, I have a contact who does that for cheap if you feel like it. Otherwise you can simply use one of these natural and eco-friendly mosquito repellents.
9. What are mosquito predators?
If you want someone else to take care of those little craps for you then you should be friends with a swallow, a nightjar or a bat. On the insect side, a dragonfly or a spider will do the trick and if you are more of a fisherman, the stickleback is very fond of it. A bit annoying to have to go out in the evening with live fish stuck to your outfit, but one day someone will do it at the Met Gala and it will become a trend.
10. What can be done to relieve a sting?
In the Middle Ages, the bitten limb was cut directly to relieve the pain of the poor unfortunate who had been victim of a mosquito, it was the good times. But now it’s frowned upon so now we use other techniques to relieve mosquito bites like rubbing essential oils on it, a banana peel or a hot tea bag.