Mosquitoes, The Truth

These little creatures cause the highest level of discomfort and are responsible for the highest number of deaths worldwide caused by a living creature. Even a single mosquito never lets you sleep peacefully. We keep on trying new methods to keep away from these little insects. Mosquitoes bring a whole lot of infections.

The Facts

Only the female mosquitoes will bite you. It is because these insects need protein to grow their eggs. They get attracted to the human body due to various reasons like heat and body odor due to perspiration. They insert their proboscis into the skin and suck the blood.  The saliva of mosquitoes contains anticoagulants. This will prevent clotting of human blood during the sucking process. Our body immune system responds to these coagulants. Hence, we get itchy feeling and swelling. This swelling is a minor issue. What comes after that can be a major challenge.

Mosquitoes cause the following diseases:

  1. Malaria:  Anopheles mosquitoes leave a parasite on the human skin. This parasite gradually enters the bloodstream and starts growing.  This results in fever, headache, chills, and body pain. Malarial fever can cause death. Quinine extracts are used for manufacturing anti-malarial drugs.
  2. Yellow fever:  It is prevalent in African nations.  It is similar to jaundice. It can be prevented by vaccination.
  3. Encephalitis:  It is caused due to Aedes and Culiseta mosquitoes.  It causes neck stiffness, headache, fever and brain issues.
  4. Dengue fever: High fever coupled with the sudden loss of platelets can be dangerous.  It is life-threatening to children and pregnant women.


Mosquitoes have a very short lifespan.  Female mosquitoes live for a maximum of 100 days. A male can survive up to twenty days. Mosquitoes breed in water.  The larvae can respire and survive better with the help of water. The larva has four stages and grows into a pupa.  The pupa waits for few days without any motion to gain body mass. After this, the pupa finally flies out of the water.  Now you can understand the importance of keeping your surroundings clean. Where there is stagnant rain/sewage water, these insects will grow quite easily.

Approximately, there are around 2700 types of mosquitoes in the world.  What we see around us may range from 6 to 8 types alone. The most common are the following:

  1. Aedes:  They depend more on human blood and can spread dengue fever.
  2. Anopheles:  This type enjoys sunlight more than shade.  They spread malaria.
  3. Culex: These are house mosquitoes and breed on polluted water.


Mosquito repellents come in the form of mat, coils, and vaporizers.  These contain ingredients such as acridine which can block the smelling sense of mosquitoes.  Hence the insects will not be able to locate the human body for sucking blood. Repellents come in the form of creams which can be applied over hands and legs. When the mosquito menace is greater, you will have to spray in a large quantity around bushes.  Besides, one can try natural repellents like lemongrass, neem oil, Eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, etc. Burning these oils emit a vapor which can block the senses of these insects.