Malaysia has many wonderful things we can appreciate: the cultural diversity, good food and of course the many public holidays we all enjoy ;). However, living in Malaysia also means we’re dealing with a major problem: mosquitoes. Our climate is generally warm and wet year round which is the perfect for mosquitoes to breed. Every Malaysian is familiar with these annoying pests (and the yearly dengue crisis) but have you ever wondered how much you actually know about mosquitoes? Here are 7 interesting mosquito facts you may not have known about!
1. Mosquitoes are really old
When we say old, we’re talking about really old! Mosquitoes can be traced back all the way to the Triassic Period, when dinosaurs walked the earth. They’re even older than the T-Rex! Mosquitoes are 251 million years old while the T-Rex is only about 85 million years old. These insects survived and evolved to what they are today.
2. Mosquitoes are Terrible Fliers.
How many times have you tried to kill a mosquito with your hands and missed? It’s likely it’s happened several times but mosquitoes are actually terrible fliers. Compared to other flying insects such as flies or bees, mosquitoes are quite slow. It is estimated these insects fly at speeds of 1.5 to 2.5 km per hour. For humans, that’s the equivalent of taking a quarter of a step per second.
3. Lovers, not Fighters
Many animals have mating dances, and mosquitoes are one of them. To court their potential partner, mosquitoes “dance” by beating their wings in a call-and-response type of manner. Once a female has chosen a partner, the two mate and the female stores the sperm for the rest of her life to use to fertilise her eggs.
4. Mosquitoes love CO2
Mosquitoes locate their next target by smelling the source of CO2. This means even in the dark, mosquitoes are able to pinpoint our locations when we release CO2. Using a special organ known as the maxillary palp, they sense where CO2 is coming from and make their way to their next target.
5. Only Female Mosquitoes Bite
Move over Dracula, there’s a new queen in town! It is common to think that all mosquitoes bite. But did you know only female mosquitoes bite? Female mosquitoes are the only ones that feed on blood because they need the protein and other compounds to help them produce eggs. Every single mosquito that lands on you is probably a mom-to-be.
6. Best Buffet Friend
Mosquitoes love human blood but in reality it might be more of an obsession. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are able to drink 3 times their own body weight in blood. Imagine drinking an average of 210 kg of your favourite drink.
7. Small but Deadly
If you were to ask which animal was the deadliest, common answers would be crocodiles, tigers, snakes or other aggressive creatures. What might surprise you is that mosquitoes actually take the title of “World’s Deadliest Animal”. This is because of the diseases they spread. Mosquitoes are known to be the carriers for potentially lethal diseases such as Malaria, Dengue and Zika. These diseases are carried by different types of mosquitoes, and not all mosquitoes transmit diseases. Due to these deadly diseases, mosquitoes are estimated to be responsible for over 1 million deaths per year!
Mosquitoes are interesting insects but left unchecked they can become a huge pest problem in your homes or businesses. Over 30,000 cases of dengue have already been recorded in Malaysia from January-June 2018. Rentokil, the experts in pest control, can help you prevent and eliminate your pest issues with our Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) solutions. We ensure that your problems are dealt with safely, efficiently and effectively.
Visit our website to find out more information about mosquito behaviour, species and possible solutions or call us today at 1300 881 911 or contact us online to schedule a comprehensive site inspection now!