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Serving Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts & Surrounding Areas

Mosquito Facts

The mosquito is a common flying insect that is found around the world. There are about 2,800 different species of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can fly about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.

The female mosquito drinks blood and the nectar of plants; the males only sip plant nectar. When a female bites, she also injects an anticoagulant (anti-clotting chemical) into the prey to keep the victim's blood flowing. She finds her victims by sight and smell, and also by detecting their warmth. Not all mosquito species bite humans.

The mosquito is often a carrier of diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile virus, dog heartworm, and many others. The females, who drink blood, can carry disease from one animal or human to another as they feed.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5,387 cases of West Nile were reported in 2012, with 243 deaths.  West Nile is spread only via the bite of an infected mosquito.  Incidents of Lyme disease, spread via ticks, have increased as well, with more than 32,000 confirmed and probable cases reported in 2012, up from 22,000 in 2011.  "The mosquito and tick populations and associated diseases such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease have grown exponentially in the U.S. over the past several years, and our growth is due in part of that."

Mosquito facts


  • Only the female bites to obtain a blood meal and the male feeds on plant juices
  • Female mosquitoes may live as long as three weeks during the summer and many months in the winter
  • All mosquitoes must have standing water in which to complete their life cycle 
  • There are about 2,800 different species of mosquitoes 
  • Most mosquitoes remain within 1 mile of their breeding site. A few species may range up to 20 miles or more 
  • There are over 150 described species of mosquitoes from North America. Several species have been accidentally introduced from other parts of the world. 
  • Presently, the cues used by mosquitoes to find their hosts are poorly understood. Carbon dioxide (CO2), heat, octenol and light have been shown to be attractants. Other compounds tested such as lactic acid also have proved to attract certain species of biting insects. 
  • Mosquito is Spanish for "little fly". 
  • To humans and domestic animals, mosquitoes are a nuisance and a health hazard since mosquitoes can transmit a variety of diseases

Did you know?

Mosquito Techs’ season long mosquito control packages can protect your family and pets from mosquito borne diseases.  Even taking the best preventative measure, it is impossible to be 100% protected from mosquito borne diseases.  However, by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and knowing early symptoms of insect borne illnesses can go a long way in protecting your family, friends, and pets.