Very tiresome insects, the mosquitoes are widespread all over the world, particularly in tropical countries; mosquitoes belong to the order of Dipterous, just like for example the horse-flies and the Flies, and to the suborder of Nematocera, from which they discern for the shape of their bodies, the buccal apparatus that pokes out like an extensive trumpet and from the wings covered at the border with hairs.
The known mosquitoes are more than 2000 species, and they can distinguish for the colour of the body that has got brown colours, ochreish, dark colours or with some marks of stripes muck clearness, from dimension and the area where grows the grubs, that ever happens inside the water, and the different way the grubs breath and the different way the grown-up mosquitoes has got of laying on the surfaces.
The mosquitoes, furthermore, belongs to the family of the Culicidaefrom which three subfamilies:
- Toxorhynchitinae (they are mosquitoes very big, they are not haematophagous , and the grubs of this group of mosquitoes feeds with grubs of the other mosquitoes)
Only two of these subfamilies of mosquitoes can be found in Europe and in Italy:
- Anopheles o Anofelini
- Culicini to which belongs different species of mosquitoes: Aedes, Culex, Mansonia, Theobaldia.
Morphologically the mosquitoes are similar: visible and long bodies, only a pair of transparent and thin wings, thin and long legs, long antennae on the head from which can be distinguished the sex because, in the female of mosquitoes, the antennae has got loose hairs whereas in the male they are feathery and longer. Besides, the male of the mosquitoes has got a licked buccal apparatus and feeds with vegetal essences, the female of the mosquitoes, besides, have got an apparatus sharp-sucking and they are haematophagous and means that they feed of blood they need for bringing to a complete ripening the eggs, because the majority of the females that belong to the family of the Culicidae attacks the human being, the mammalians and the birds.
A question of the greatest importance for us, is the knowledge of the environment where they live and where spread the different species of mosquitoes, the different typologies of water where they lay and grown up the larvae that cause the dangerousness of the sting of the mosquitoes that can be the carrier of diseases as the malaria, yellow fever etc.
The mosquitoes have good adapted in muddy water, polluted water, stagnant waters, brackish waters and fresh waters, but above all low-laying and stagnant areas, they can never be found into water in motion or where lives insectivorous fishes as the gambusia affinis.
Culex pipiens: is our common mosquito that can be found all over the Italian territory, has got the tip of the abdomen flat and the labial palps shorter. This mosquito has perfectly adapted to the urban environment, lay its eggs inside still waters into pot dishes, obstructed gutters, abandoned containers; lies inactive during the day and starts to go out at the dusk and during all the night annoys our sleep.
Aedes mariae and Ades detritus: they are two breeds of mosquitoes that have got a sharp end of the body and short labial palps; they live in the city of the seaboard, they are diurnal and the females lay their eggs in the sea water pools where the grubs can live and step up.
The aedes canpius is another common mosquito in Italy and specifically in the Po valley, it is a mosquito that lives in the countryside and it does not come into the urban zones. Since they have a wide range of flight of about 20-30 km the settlements of this mosquito concern very wide areas, and it is aggressive against human being.
The aedes albopictus or tiger mosquito: the name derives not only for its black body with trasversal white stripes on the abdomen and on the legs, but also for its aggressivity against the human being and little mammalians. The Tiger mosquito is active both during the day and during the night and can be found in every big or little urban areas. It is a very infesting mosquito, as a rule settles itself in big groups creating significant awkwardness. We can find it mainly in the areas at the centre-north of Italy, and its appearance in our country goes back at the first years of the 1990, this mosquito, before entering in our territory was relegated in some areas of the Africa and in Japan where it was carrier of a lot of viruses and diseases.
The anopheles: this breed of mosquito has got a pointed margin of its body and long labial palps, in the past we got to be afraid of it because it was carrier of malaria, because it is a mosquito that lives and spread in marshy areas and in not drained and swampy areas.
REPRODUCTION AND GROWTH CYCLE OF THE MOSQUITOES
The male of the mosquitoes needs of 24 hours for the growth of the genitals, “the ipogino’ has got a rotation of 180°. Reached the sexual maturity the males build big groups for attracting the female mosquitoes. The mating happens on the wing, and in the arch of one year the mosquitoes, according of the breeds, can produce a lot of offsprings.
As soon as the eggs begin to grow in the belly of the female, this needs of blood for feeding and carry them to a complete maturation.
Reached the maturation of the eggs the female of the mosquito lay up to 500 eggs standing straight on the surface of the water, that may be still (culex), or on humid surfaces (aedes) and solid or on leaves of aquatic vegetable (mansonia), but also in this case the eggs for growing and hatch may be submerged.
All the breeds of the mosquito has got 4 larval stadiums and, the during from the egg to the pupal stadium change according to the temperature, the larger is the temperature smaller is the time of the growth into fully-grown mosquito, as a rule this period range from a week to a month.
The grubs of the mosquito live under water and the breathing apparatus change according to the breed: for example, the mosquitoes of the breeds Culex e Aedes has got a suctorial proboscis for breathing, the Anopheles has got at the end of the body a respiratory plate.
During the pupal stadium they have to approach at the surface of the water for taking oxygen.
THE MOSQUITO STING
The buccal apparatus of the mosquito has constituted by saw-toothed chop and jaw and with them realize a hole in the skin arriving to the capillary, then it injects with the laryngopharynx than anti-adjuvant saliva that creates allergic effects, tingling and swelling.
Like other insects, the female mosquitoes has at it’s disposal a sensorial apparatus that it is on their antennae or on their head and with them they can feel off the presence of their preys, they can feel their humidity and the temperature of the skin, sweat and sebum, release of carbon dioxide.
An interesting sight is supplied by the capability of the mosquito of discern and choose the healthy blood from the unhealthy blood.
Besides, according to recent studies on the mosquitoes, some scientists have identified who are the subjects more stroked by the mosquitoes:
- Smokers: these persons give off through the smoke some chemical substances that attract the mosquitoes.
- Vegetarians: these persons give off breathing, the ottanolo, a substance product by the digestion of foods at the base of vegetable and fruit.
Besides the association of perfumes with corporeal substances attracts particularly the mosquitoes, while, one of the parts of the body most punched by the mosquitoes stings, are surely the feet and, at the end, otherwise from what that a lot of persons think, the mosquitoes prefer the adult persons better than the children and, the men better than the women.
But the mosquitoes not only strike the human being, their preys are also animals and birds so they can become carriers of parasites and transmit diseases to the men through the saliva that inject.
In our country the mosquitoes are not carrier of diseases, even though, also if the ever increasing frequent movements for tourism or work in the countries where the mosquitoes can transmit diseases as malaria and yellow fever etc. increase the risk of diffusion.
PEST CONTROL AND FGHT AGAINST THE MOSQUITOES
For removing the mosquitoes we will have to remove every gathering of still water and every environment where the mosquitoes are present, so the fight against the mosquitoes is, first of all, individual and preventive, for example, being careful of not creating with our wrong dealing the diffusion of the mosquitoes, or removing all those sites that can begin some larval focuses in our gardens or houses.
While as regards the pest control on broad surfaces it has to be affected by qualified personnel.
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