There are about 82 species of mosquitoes in Canada and over 2,500 species throughout the world.
The entire cycle from egg to adult of some Canadian species can take less than 10 days, with optimal water temperatures.
Male mosquitoes cannot bite and both sexes of mosquitoes use their long proboscis to feed on the nectar of flowers or other sugar sources like honeydew.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the present known mosquito-borne viruses in Canada are West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis.
When outdoors, wear long sleeves and pants, especially during dawn and dusk, and use insect repellants with up to 35 percent DEET for adults and 20 percent for children over six months of age.
Where they live
Mosquito habitat varies for each species and can include natural areas such as rain puddles and ponds, decomposing material such as wet leaf matter, ditches and marshes. While healthy wetlands are habitat for mosquitoes, they are also home to mosquito predators and can reduce flooding, which would cause further habitat for mosquitoes. Also, some species of mosquitoes can fly far from their breeding sites, making prevention difficult. However, certain mosquitoes are considered domestic species because they breed around the home in small, artificial containers such as bird baths and eaves troughs.
Only female mosquitoes bite humans and other animals for blood to nourish their eggs. Male mosquitoes do not require blood. Many animals including stickleback fish, dragonflies, bats and several species of birds eat mosquitoes as part of their regular diet.
At present, the most effective way to combat the spread of these viruses in humans is to avoid mosquito bites. Eliminating suitable breeding habitats such as standing water from around your home will prevent mosquitoes from developing near by. Putting up screens and stopping mosquitoes from entering your home is the most effective way to prevent direct exposure indoors. When outdoors, wear long sleeves and pants, especially during dawn and dusk, and use insect repellants with up to 35 percent DEET for adults and 20 percent for children over six months of age.
With information from Hinterland Who's Who
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