Here are some fun (and not-so-fun) facts about mosquitoes from the American Mosquito Control Association.
- Mosquitoes are known from as far back as the Triassic Period – 400 million years ago.
- They are known from North America from the Cretaceous – 100 million years ago.
- There are about 2,700 species of mosquito. There are 176 species in the United States.
- The average mosquito weighs about 2.5 milligrams.
- The average mosquito takes in about 5-millionths of a liter of blood during feeding.
- Mosquitoes find hosts by sight (they observe movement); by detecting infra-red radiation emitted by warm bodies; and by chemical signals (mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and lactic acid, among other chemicals) at distances of 25 to 35 meters.
- Mosquitoes fly an estimated 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.
- Salt marsh mosquitoes can migrate up to 40 miles for a meal.
- Bigger people are often more attractive to mosquitoes because they are larger targets and they produce more mosquito attractants, namely CO2 and lactic acid.
- Active or fidgety people also produce more CO2 and lactic acid.
- Smelly feet are attractive to certain species of mosquitoes – as is Limburger Cheese.
- Dark clothing has been shown to attract some species of mosquitoes more than lighter colored clothing.
- Movement increased mosquito biting up to 50% in some research tests.
- A full moon increased mosquito activity 500% in one study