Possibly the most disliked animal on the planet, mosquitoes seem to be everywhere. They buzz around your bed at night, ruin a family picnic and mercilessly pester campers and hikers. Over 3,000 species live on the planet and almost 200 species live here in the U.S.
But mosquitoes are more than just annoying. They are responsible for more deaths from infectious diseases worldwide than any other source. In warm, tropical climates, mosquitoes spread malaria, typhoid, encephalitis, yellow fever and other deadly diseases. These diseases are most serious for children and old people.
Not So Fun Facts About Mosquitoes for Kids
- Scientists believe that mosquitoes might spread and become more of a problem as the earth warms.
- Only female mosquitoes suck blood. They have a sharp tongue called a proboscis, which has two tubes. One tube injects a substance in your body so your blood won’t clot. The other tube sucks up the blood.
- Female mosquitoes use blood to nourish their eggs. Both males and females drink nectar as food.
- Mosquitoes can sense body temperature and smell body odor to locate prey.
- Mosquitoes prefer to drink the blood of cows, horses and other animals.
- Mosquitoes breed and live near bodies of water. Draining ponds and other bodies of water can reduce mosquito problems. However, this strategy destroys habitat for frogs, aquatic birds and other animals.
- Buzz: loud, humming sound
- Pester: bother
- Annoy: bother, irritate
- Infectious: can spread to other people
- Clot: thicken, stop flowing
Learn More All About Mosquitoes
Watch this video to know why mosquitoes are “selective” about who they suck blood from:
A video explaining why mosquitoes seem to pick who they suck blood from.
Question: Are mosquitoes good for anything?
Answer: Mosquitoes provide food for many animals, including bats, birds and dragonflies.
Question: Where do mosquitoes lay eggs?
Answer: Mosquitoes lay as many as 200 eggs in water. The eggs can live up to five years before hatching.
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