misquito bite first-aid kit

10 Facts About Mosquitos

You know they are annoying. But did you know the mosquito is among the most deadly of all animals on Earth? We pulled together 10 facts on the blood-sucking bugs.

Near the creek by my house, the mosquitos have arrived in force. I swat them on my neck, brush them off the dog’s back, then run away from the shade near the water where the buggers can get thick.

Fortunately, they are rarely harmful to humans here. But did you know the mosquito is among the most dangerous and deadly of all animals on Earth? Here are 10 facts about these annoying little insects.

1) Mosquitos Are Deadly

They are often ranked at the top of the list of “deadly animals.” Sadly, millions of people are infected with malaria each year around the world by mosquito bites.

2) Many Kinds Of Mosquitos

There are more than 3,500 species of mosquitos on Earth. Not all are bad. A huge amount of the species of mosquitoes are not blood-suckers. They will not bite.

Mosquito on Skin

3) Beer Attracts The Bugs

Cracking a cold one around the campfire? Researchers tested a hypothesis around beer and how mosquitos reacted to “prey preference.” See a recap of the study here. In short, the bugs were indeed attracted to the smell of beer.

4) Females Bite

In most species of mosquitos, only the females seek blood and bite. Male mosquitos are fine with plants.

5) Etymology

“Mosquito” has roots in Spanish or Portuguese words, meaning “little fly.”

6) Prehistoric Insects

Encased in amber, mosquitos have been found preserved in Canada that are nearly 80 million years old.

7) Diseases Transmitted

Beyond malaria, the bugs can transmit yellow fever, filariasis, west Nile virus, dengue fever, and other maladies.

8) Beyond Bug Spray

There are many types of mosquito repellent products on the market. A unique option comes from Thermacell, which sells Mosquito Repellent Lanterns powered by butane cartridges. They shine a light as well as vaporize an allethrin repellent, allowing it to rise into the air and help ward off bugs.

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Trailblazer Lantern5

9) Mosquito Repellant Clothing

Companies like ExOfficio, Insect Shield, Columbia, and others sell clothing treated with insect repellent, including permethrin. Over the years I have tested much of this apparel. While no panacea, it does seem to deter mosquitoes, ticks, and flies.

10) You Can Still Get Out!

Dressed right, and following some basic advice about where to go and when to travel during mosquito season, the bugs should not hold you back. See Andrew Skurka’s article, “My clothing system for backpacking in peak mosquito season,” as a solid tutorial on how to not let the little bugs ruin your trip or keep you home.

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Stephen Regenold
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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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