Mosquitoes

Culex species and others

Color: Mostly gray with white, silver, green, or iridescent blue scales
Shape: Narrow, oval
Size 1/4 – 3/8 inch long
Region Found throughout the U.S.

Overview

One of the best-known summer pests, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water or soft soil. There are about 170 different kinds of mosquito species in North America alone.

Habits

Mosquitoes can breed in any form of stagnant water, including ponds, marshes, flood waters, woodland pools, drainage ditches, water in tree holes, leaves of plants and artificial containers. Mosquitoes regularly feed on nectar, although females require at least one blood meal before they can lay fertile eggs. They tend to bite more often at dusk and dawn.

Threats

Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases including West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and encephalitis. In recent years, West Nile virus has become a serious concern in the U.S. Signs of West Nile virus include flu-like symptoms. In extreme cases, it can be a potentially life threatening infection with high fever, head and body aches, worsening weakness, confusing, and even coma.

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