The word “mosquito” is a Spanish word which means a “small fly”. It belongs from the Culicidae family, a family consists of quite thin/slender flies with long legs, hairy bodies, wriggly larvae and posses mouth parts sharp enough to pierce into its host’s body. A male mosquito lifespan is ten days but a female mosquito lifespan is almost fifty days long.
Male mosquitoes feeds on the nectar of plants while the female mosquito can pierce into the host’s skin to suck on the host’s blood such as mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and some fish and very few invertebrates such as other arthropods. As the protein present in the blood are an essential part in the mosquito reproduction process.
The female mosquito can lay eggs more than 3 times during its life span and most mosquitoes lay eggs in the water and some lays the eggs near water.
When a mosquito bites (pierce into the skin) its saliva is transmits into the hosts body resulting in itching along with a rash in most cases and can probably inject some dangerous parasites like malaria, west nile virus, dengue fever, zika virus, yellow fever and more.
Mosquito lifespan is different for both males and females as the females greatly out live the male mosquitoes. A mosquito lifespan is definitely different but both male and female lifecycle is divided into the following 3 stages:
A female mosquito usually lay their eggs in or near water. It takes almost 24 to 48 hours for mosquito eggs to hatch.
A mosquito larva lives in the water closer to the surface of the water and breathes with its breathing tube until the pupa stage begins within a week.
When the pupal stage starts the mosquito larva stops feeding becomes inactive and immobile. Inside the pupa its larva is under development and will emerge as a full grown mosquito in a few days or a week.
Types of Mosquitoes
The mosquito lifespan of most mosquitoes are the same but there are many types of mosquitoes out there some of the most well known ones are listed below:
Aedes aegypti – Yellow Fever Mosquito
Aedes aegypti the yellow fever mosquito has white spots/lines on its legs and white mark on its thorax and can transmit numerous disease agents such as yellow fever virus, zika virus and dengue virus.
Culex quinquefasciatus – the Southern House Mosquito
Culex quinquefasciatus the southern house mosquito can be commonly found in the sub tropical and tropical regions around the world and mainly transmits zoonotic diseases.
Culex – House Mosquito
Culex The house mosquito can be commonly found in area where polluted water is left standing such as rain water pet water dishes and ponds in size culex the house mosquito is medium and brown in color.
Aedes albopictus – the Tiger Mosquito
Aedes albopictus the tiger mosquito or forest mosquito are native of southern Asia it can be found in tropical and sub tropical areas in the past years it has expended greatly travelled through transports and other similar means to various countries outside of Asia with the help of by human activities.
Although mosquito lifespan is not very long but a mosquito bite can cause some serious illnesses. When a mosquito bites, immediately the affected area will develop an itchy puffy bump and / or a rash, white or red usually it will clear up in a matter of days on its own.
Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes
There are many diseases spread by mosquito that although some people don’t get sick or the sickness is mild in some after getting bitten due to a healthy immune system. The following are some of the illnesses caused by mosquito bites:
Zika virus can be spread through a mosquito bite of Aedes species. It is a dangerous disease and if a pregnant woman gets infected with zika virus the baby is at a great risk of having microcephaly a birth defect in which the baby’s brain will not develop completely.
Zika Virus Symptoms
Fever, rash, body aches, joint pain and red eyes in some cases. Mostly the infected will not experience any symptom at all or very little.
Zika Virus Treatment
Sadly! There is no medicine or vaccines available for the treatment of zika virus out there.
West Nile Virus
It is a viral infection typically spread by mosquito bites. People infected with west nile virus rarely experience any symptoms and about 1% of people develop any serious illness.
West Nile Virus Symptoms
The west nile virus symptoms only in severe cases includes sleeplessness, paralysis, coma, tremors and disorientation but almost all cases of west nile virus experience no or mild symptoms and it goes away on its own.
West Nile Virus Treatment
The west nile virus treatment if required in severe cases only consists of intravenous and pain killers.
The illness known as Chikungunya is caused by the chikungunya virus spread through mosquito bites. Its mosquito bites only at day times and can also infect rodents and birds.
Symptoms occurs in a week or 10 days after the hosts is bitted by the mosquito and symptoms includes joint pain, headaches, body aches and fever.
Treatment of chikungunya consists of plenty of rest and paracetamol or acetaminophen to ease the body pain and fever in the infected although no medication should be taken before consulting the physician as some medicine can worse the illness if it’s not chikungunya due to chikungunya and dengue fever both have very similar symptoms.
The dengue virus is transmitted through mosquito bites resulting in a viral disease known as dengue; it is present in many parts of the world today and can sometime be very lethal to its host. If severe dengue can damage many organs such as the heart and lungs, greatly dropping blood pressure and even death is reported in some cases.
Dengue Virus Symptoms
Symptoms of dengue virus usually start after 2 days or two weeks after the infection. Symptoms include acute pain in joints, body pain, high fever and even vomiting.
Dengue Virus Treatment
Dengue treatment consists of pain relievers and plenty of rest and only a certified doctor can prescribe the c correct medicine by a physical examination. However! Aspirin should be avoided as it can worsen the bleeding if there is any.
Malaria is spread by an anopheles mosquito. Malaria is a single celled organism which multiplies in the red blood cells; it is not a virus nor is it a bacterium. Malaria is a serious disease and can sometime be very fatal to its host.
Symptoms of Malaria Virus
The malaria virus symptoms consists of abdominal pain, head and body aches, nausea, diarrhea and extreme sweating along with severe chills following with high fever. Also see Prevention of Malaria – Fight Malaria Symptoms
CAN mosquito spread HIV/AIDS?
Well no! mosquitoes can not transmit HIV AIDS. The reason is that in human blood we have T cells (host cells for HIV virus) the HIV virus binds it self to the T cells in human blood and starts to replicate.
The HIV virus needs T cells to survive in side the human body. In a mosquitoes gut there are no T cells present to bind itself in order to replicate, therefore the HIV virus ends up beings digested by the digestive system inside the mosquitoes stomach. Although when in the infected blood is injected with a needle the HIV virus is present due to the blood in the syringe having T cells present and the syringe does not contain a digestive system.
Treatment of Malaria Virus
Oral medication is commonly prescribed in malaria virus treatment. However! If the infection is severe intravenous infusion is used
Yellow Fever Virus – Jaundice
Yellow fever virus is a flavivirus and is transmitted via an infected mosquito. Mostly yellow fever is like a flue only some cases are severe. Yellow fever also known as jaundice has been around for centuries.
Symptoms of Yellow Fever or Jaundice Symptoms
Jauindice or yellow fever symptoms includes high fever, yellowing of the eyes and skin, dizziness, loss of appetite and light sensitivity.
Treatment Yellow Fever or Jaundice Treatment
There is no treatment of yellow fever or jaundice pain killers are usually prescribed until the virus runs it course and the immune system fights it off for good.
In order to prevent all diseases and illnesses that can be transmitted by mosquitoes (mosquito borne illnesses) we must make sure there are no mosquitoes around us and to do so we should use top high quality mosquito repellents.