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Mosquitoes are common flying insects in the family Culicidae that are found around the world. There are about 3,500 species. They have a pair of scaled wings, a pair of halteres, a slender body, and six long legs. The females of most mosquito species suck blood (hematophagy) from other animals, which has made them the deadliest disease vector known, killing millions of people over thousands of years and continuing to kill millions per year by the spread of infectious diseases.

Feeding Habits: Both male and female mosquitoes are nectar feeders, but the females of many species are also capable of hematophagy (drinking blood). Females do not require blood for their own survival, but they do need supplemental substances such as protein and iron to develop eggs. In regards to host location, carbon dioxide and organic substances produced from the host, humidity, and optical recognition, play important roles. In Aedes, the search for a host takes place in two phases. First, the mosquito exhibits a nonspecific searching behavior until the perception of host stimulants then it follows a targeted approach. Mosquitoes are crepuscular (dawn or dusk) feeders. During the heat of the day most mosquitoes rest in a cool place and wait for the evenings. They may still bite if disturbed. Mosquitos are adept at infiltration and have been known to find their way into residences via deactivated air conditioning units. Prior to and during blood feeding, they inject saliva into the bodies of their source(s) of blood. Female mosquitoes hunt their blood host by detecting carbon dioxide (CO2) and 1-octen-3-ol from a distance.

Aedes aegypti, a parasite, and vector of dengue fever and yellow fever Mosquitoes of the genus Toxorhynchites never drink blood.

This genus includes the largest extant mosquitoes, the larvae of which prey on the larvae of other mosquitoes. These mosquito eaters have been used in the past as mosquito control agents, with varying success.

Mosquito Control

There are many methods used for mosquito control. Depending on the situation, source reduction, biocontrol, larviciding (control of larvae), or adulticiding (control of adults) may be used to manage mosquito populations.

These techniques are accomplished using habitat modification, such as removing stagnant water and other breeding areas, pesticide like DDT, natural predators, (eg Dragonflies, larvae-eating fish), and trapping.

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