Mosquitoes can cause serious problems in the human habitat. In addition to the direct effects of their bites, mosquitoes are involved in the transmission of various diseases to humans and pets, such as malaria, yellow fever and heartworm. Only female mosquitoes feed on blood and their bites are painful at first, usually followed by an allergic reaction with local swelling and itching. The female mosquitoes “bite” essentially during the night and in the areas of the body that are most often discovered, that is, on the face, neck, arms and feet.
During their development, mosquitoes undergo a complete metamorphosis.
They depend on the presence of water for laying eggs and for the development of young forms. The larvae and pupae live in the water, the first go to the surface to breathe and obtain food, assuming characteristic positions. The duration of the life cycle can only be 9 days during the hottest months. Host preference varies with mosquito species. Some species feed on cattle, horses and other domestic animals, while others prefer humans. Few are the species that feed only on cold-blooded animals or that depend only on plant nectar.
Culex, Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes are about 5 to 10 mm long, with narrow wings covered with scales and a mouth structure adapted for sucking and biting. Culex spp live close to homes in urban and rural areas, mainly in murky and dirty waters.
They do not normally bite man, prefer the blood of birds. They transmit heartworm and several viruses. Aedes spp have a special incidence in urban areas and transmit the yellow fever agent.
Adults fly after sunset and are especially active at night. Anopheles spp transmit the malaria agent. They are especially active at dusk and dawn.
They develop preferably in aquatic environments with little dirty water and abundant vegetation.