Friday, July 30, 2021

Everyone's Favorite Insect: Mosquitos

Culicidaes, better known as mosquitos have to be one of my least liked animal species on this wonderful vast lucious earth, I can't stand them. They are annoying, aggressive and flat out pestering insects, that seem to appear out of thin air. All just to ruin any sort of enjoyment you're having while being out in nature. There are 52 different species of mosquitos in the state of Massachusetts, all having similar physical qualities, making it difficult to distinguish the varying types from the naked eye. To most people a mosquito is simply a mosquito, doesn't matter the species they all do the same thing. 

I am here to talk about mosquitos because over the past few weeks my group has made a few trips to marshes in places like Revere, Nahant and Quincy. We all enjoy walking around the marsh to see the different unusally seen plants and just the make-up of the area itself. But we always contemplate whether it will be worth it knowing that no matter how much Off Mosquito and Insect Repelent we put on, we will still get absolutely harrassed and attacked by everyone's favorite insect: mosquitos. The minute you step foot in the marsh they swarmed us like bees to honey and we ended up leaving with a minimum is 3 bites, all in varying locations. After leaving frustrated and annoyed I had to find out why they acted in such a beligerent way, and from my research I found a few interesting things. 

In my findings I came across an article that quoted Jeffery Riffell, the lead author on a paper on mosquitos, who said, "the entire mosquito has evloved to indentify us and bite us. They are especially sensitive to temperature, to the water vapor from our sweat, to our body odor, and to the carbon dioxide from our breath, so their entire sensatory systems are geared towards locating us." He later went on to say that even if an adult mosquito had spent its entire life around dogs and cattle if there was a human in that herd it would gravitate directly to the human even without having ever had an encounter with one. Quite interesting how their entire existence is predicated on another mammal's blood. 

When it comes to insect repellents I found that those typically bought repelents only work for certain types of mosquitos, and because there are over 52 different species in the state of Massachusetts alone it will rarely be effective. A female mosquito produces aproximately 300 eggs in its 8-10 day lifespan and can redproduce in just about any environment, inside or outiside. Mosquitos have been around since the beginning of the first mammal and from the information I found I have come to the conclusion that mosquitos will probably be around after we are gone so we might as well suck it up, like mosquitos do, and deal with them. 

Signing off this week as,

Mosquito Hater 

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