Are mosquitoes all the same? 3546 species can be found across the globe so the answer is obviously no. The female mosquitoes are the only one to bother us during these warmer days but did you know that only a hundred of species feed on humans? Fortunately, not all of them carry diseases, so you can reduce this number to a handful of species. Let’s learn some facts about the main ones.
The common mosquito can be found anywhere near urban areas. Mostly active during the night, it can transmit the Japanese encephalitis virus or the West Nile virus. This mosquito can lay eggs in any area with standing water, such as garden pots and any containers with water. The maggots float at 45-degree angle compared to the surface of the water. You may recognize the Culex by its brown and tarnished appearance.
Aedes aegypti and albopictus (known as tiger mosquito)
Both Aedes species are more dangerous as they can carry numerous diseases such as the Zika virus, chikungunya, dengue or the yellow fever. The Aedes albopictus, also known as tiger mosquito, has extended its population from sub-tropical areas to cooler countries in Southern Europe and America. It is mostly active during the day and can perfectly live in urban areas. The eggs can resist to droughts and hatch once they are in the water. The Aedes are easy to recognize thanks to their striped abdomen in black and white. As they can travel short distances only, they tend to stay near their breeding place.
This kind of mosquito bites during the night, mainly at the sunrise and sunset. Known to carry malaria, it does not feed exclusively on humans which is the cause of such disease. It can be recognized thanks to its spotted wings and its posture when biting. Anopheles lean forward to eat while other species remain parallel to the surface. Also, maggots float parallel to the water surface instead of floating vertically.
Ixodes ricinus (commonly known as tick)
Despite not being a mosquito, you should be aware of this little mite! It can carry several diseases such as the Lyme disease and develop infections the longer it stays on your skin. You will find it along hiking trails and grassy areas. Since you may not feel the bite, it is important to check your body after spending time in the nature. If you find a strange black dot on your skin, it might be a tick. It buries its head into your skin so you will have to be careful when taking it off. As it can keep feeding on you for several days, the faster the tick is removed, the better it is to prevent any infection.