The Department of Preventive Medicine reminds everyone to:
• Stay indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening. This is when mosquitoes are most active.
• Wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants and socks whenever you are outdoors; wear loose- fitting clothing to prevent mosquito bites through thin fabric.
• Use insect repellents that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. They are safe and effective. For your skin, use a product that contains 20-35 percent DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). DEET in higher concentrations is no more effective.
To reduce mosquito breeding sites around the home:
• Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property.
• Empty standing water from used or discarded tires or in the case of tire swings, drill drain holes in the bottom.
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors.
• Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains.
• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
• Turn over wheelbarrows and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths. Change water in birdbaths and wading pools on a weekly basis.
• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.
For more information contact Preventive Medicine Services at 531-3402.
Mosquitoes may be pests, but they are intriguing. Here is some mosquito trivia:
• There are about 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide. The United States can be credited with about 300 of these species.
• Only the female mosquito bites. She requires the protein in blood to produce her eggs. The female will mate only once in her lifetime, however she can lay many broods of eggs before she dies.
• The male mosquito's job is to fertilize females and feed on nectar. Adult males usually hatch off first, waiting eagerly for their female counterparts. Males will mate many times before they die, and they usually don't live as long as females.
• Depending on the species, mosquitoes can live several weeks to a month or more in some cases.
• Mosquitoes are not active on windy or cool days.
• The itching you feel after a mosquito bite is the body’s reaction to the anticoagulant injected with the mosquito’s saliva as she drills for blood.
• There are many ideas as to what attracts mosquitoes. A proven attractant is Co2 (breath) and other things thought to attract them to people are body chemistry, scents (perfume/deodorant) and dark colored clothing.
• Although mosquitoes can carry and spread many dangerous diseases, they cannot transmit AIDS.
• Mosquitoes do not only bite during the night hours. Certain species of mosquitoes are active during the day and in most cases, day feeders are a great deal more aggressive than night feeders.
• Most species prefer to feed on animals and birds rather than humans. If their food supply is slim, however, they are not opposed to dining on humans.
• Mosquitoes fly at about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.
• Mosquito fossils date back at least as far as 100 million years ago.
• Mosquitoes have poor eyesight but extremely sensitive thermal receptors on the tip of their antennae to locate blood near the surface of the skin.
• One female mosquito may lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time and may average 1,000 to 3,000 offspring during her life span.
• A mosquito can drink one-and-a-half times its own weight.
• They don’t like to travel. Most mosquitoes remain within a 1 mile radius of their breeding site. Some, however can fly 20 miles or more.
• There are 100 trillion mosquitoes in the world today, and each one is responsible for about 5 human bites a day.
• Before the female mosquito actually draws your blood, she might probe your skin as many as 20 times, looking for a small blood vessel to nick.
• A mosquito doesn’t actually bite, it stabs — piercing your skin with its long proboscis.
• Mosquito eggs can survive for 5 years.
• All mosquitoes goes through 4 separate and distinct stages of development: Egg, larva, pupa and adult.