Little Mosquitoes–Big Trouble

Arti­cle by Christi­na Elston, West­ways Magazine

The most dan­ger­ous crea­ture on the plan­et isn’t a shark, a lion, or a snake. It’s a mos­qui­to of the genus Anophe­les, which car­ries Malar­ia that kills 725,000 peo­ple every year, says Joseph M. Con­lon, tech­ni­cal advi­sor for teh Amer­i­can Mos­qui­to Con­trol Association.

Mos­qui­toes are small, midge-like flies which com­prise the fam­i­ly Culi­ci­dae. Females of most species are ectopar­a­sites, whose tube-like mouth­parts (called a pro­boscis) pierce the hosts’ skin to con­sume blood.

The bites are small, but the dis­eases these bugs can spread can be seri­ous or fatal. Pre­ven­tion is the best med­i­cine. “Don’t let your­self get these dis­eases,” Con­lon warns, “because sci­ence has a hard time cur­ing them.” There are 3,500 mos­qui­to types world­wide, but the fol­low­ing are the par­tic­u­lar­ly dan­ger­ous ones.

Genus: Culex (includes the South­ern and North­ern house mosquito)
Found: Worldwide
Car­ries: West Nile Virus
Bites: Dawn and dusk. It’s most like­ly the one you hear buzzing around your head in the evening.




Genus: Anophe­les (includes the East­ern and West­ern Malar­ia mosquito)
Found: The U.S., Cen­tral Amer­i­ca, and oth­er spots worldwide.
Car­ries: Malaria
Bites: At night. Known to live indoors. Peo­ple in areas with Anophe­les mos­qui­toes should sleep under a bed net.






Genus: Aedes (includes the Asian Tiger mosquito)
Found: Most­ly in the trop­ics and sub­trop­ics where the aver­age win­ter tem­per­a­ture is 50 degrees or higher.
Car­ries: Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, and Yel­low Fever
Bites: Both day and night. Known to live around humans and to feed on low­er extrem­i­ties. Unusu­al­ly aggressive.

Be Safe…