Ten Interesting Mosquito Facts

1. Only Female Mosquitoes Bite. Both Male and Female Mosquitoes feed primarily on fruit or plant nectar, but the Female Mosquito needs the protein from blood to help her eggs develop. Once the Female Mosquito has found enough blood, she will rest for a day or two before beginning to lay her eggs.

2. Mosquito is Spanish for "Little Fly". The term "Mosquito" originated in the 16th Century. In Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Mosquitoes are commonly referred to as "Mozzies".

3. A Female Mosquito Can Drink Up to 3 Times its Weight in Blood. No need to panic here! It would take 1.2 million bites to drain the body of blood from Mosquito bites!

4. Mosquitoes Do Not Have Teeth. Even though Mosquitoes tend to "bite", they actually aren't biting at all. Mosquitoes actually use a long, pointed mouth part called a proboscis. They use the serrated proboscis to pierce the skin and locate a capillary. At that point, they draw blood through one of two tubes.

5. Female Mosquitoes Can Lay Up to 300 Eggs at One Time. Usually, the eggs are deposited in clusters, which are also know as "Rafts", on the surface of stagnant water. They are also laid in areas that flood regularly. Eggs can hatch in as little as an inch of standing water. Females will lay eggs up to three times before the end of their life cycle.

6. Mosquitoes Spend Their First 10 Days in Water. Water is necessary for the eggs to hatch into larvae. Larvae will feed on the organic matter in stagnant water and breathe oxygen from the surface. They then develop into pupae, which do not feed and are partially encased in cocoons. Over several days, the pupae change into adult mosquitoes.

7. Mosquitoes DO Hibernate. Mosquitoes are cold-blooded, and prefer temperatures over 80 degrees. At temperatures less than 50 degrees, they tend to "shut down" for the winter. The adult females of some species find holes where they wait for warmer weather, while others lay their eggs in freezing water and die. The eggs will keep until the temperatures rise, and they can hatch once the warmer weather returns.

8. Male Mosquitoes Locate Female Mosquitoes by the Sounds of Their Wings. Females can beat their wings up to 500 times per second! The males then pick out the higher frequency of those beats when seeking a mate.

9. Mosquitoes Can Smell Human Breath. Mosquitoes have receptors on their antennae that detect the carbon dioxide released when we exhale. Those plumes of CO2 rise into the air, acting as trails that the mosquitoes follow to find the source.

10. The Bumps Left From Mosquito Bites are Caused by Saliva. While one tube in the proboscis draws blood, a second pumps in saliva containing a mild painkiller and an anti-coagulant. Most people will have a minor allergic reaction to the saliva, causing the area around the bite to swell and itch.