Mosquitoes are a family of small midge-like flies. In particular, the females of many species of mosquitoes are blood-eating pests and dangerous vector of diseases. Many species of mosquitoes are not blood eaters and of those that are, many create a “high to low pressure” in the blood. Adult females lay their eggs in stagnant water, near the water’s edge or in aquatic plants. The life cycle of a mosquito begins when the females lay their eggs on or near water. Mosquitoes breeding grounds including old tires, clogged drainage, unfiltered fishponds, empty flowerpots, and any item that can hold water for more than a few days at a time. The immature stage begins when the eggs hatch into larvae. Most larvae have an air tube that penetrates the water surface allowing them to breathe. Adult mosquitoes are entirely terrestrial and are capable of flying long distances. Most mosquitos’ species are actively searching for a blood meal in the evening hours from just before dark until 2 to 3 hours after dark.
Here are the commonly found species in Malaysia:
The definition for the Greek word ‘aedes’ means ‘unpleasant’ or ‘odious’, an accurate description for this distinctive insect. Besides its white eyes, tiny size, black and white stripes, and fascinating appearance, the Aedes mosquito’s bite can be deadly. For its blood meal, it prefers biting humans rather than animals and should therefore be avoided, if at all possible. The diseases that can be transmitted to humans by the Aedes often create serious health problems, and can be potentially fatal. The most dangerous illnesses associated with the Aedes are dengue fever and yellow fever. Female Aedes mosquito is fully responsible for spreading disease to humans. In order to provide her eggs with nourishment, it needs to feed on blood. Once the female lays her eggs in a suitable pool of water, they can hatch and the larvae can emerge the very same day, given the proper environmental conditions. Female can lay eggs about three times in its lifetime, and about 100 eggs are produced each time. The eggs can lie dormant in dry conditions for up to about nine months, after which they can hatch if exposed to favourable conditions, i.e. water and food. The Aedes mosquito has a lifespan of about two weeks in nature, although it is possible for it to live longer given a fitting environment.
The Culex mosquitoes better known as the common house mosquitoes remain a vector for an assortment of diseases that can be potentially fatal to humans. Female Culex requires a blood meal to properly nourish her eggs before she lays them. The eggs are laid on the surface of standing water, in places where there are no signs of plant life. Items that can collect rain water on your property, such as tin cans, garden pots, used tires, rain barrels, children’s pools and etc. Female deposits between 100 to 300 eggs, one at a time. They will hatch two days later. The Culex larva will live in the water for approximately one to two weeks, coming up to the surface occasionally for oxygen. When it enters the pupa phase, it will float on top of the water from one to four days, resting until it ultimately transforms into an adult mosquito. Once an adult, the Culex mosquito will remain stationary on the water’s surface until its body is fully hardened and its wings are dry and ready for flight. The female mosquito will then find a mate, feed on blood, and lay its eggs.