MOSQUITOES

Mosquitoes are actually a small species of the fly family.  They have long, narrow wings with scales along the veins and wing margins.

Mosquitoes do not actually bite; they only need to suck blood. Female mosquitoes seek out plant nectar and blood. It is the protein in blood that they need to reproduce. For this reason, they pierce our skin with their "proboscis" and suck our blood. The male mosquitoes do not feed on anything but nectar.

 

Mosquitoes breed in still or stagnant water. The larvae are aquatic and known as wrigglers and are often seen coming to the surface to breathe through a siphon. They often live in still water that settles in small spaces like tree holes or puddles.  The pupae are also aquatic and active.

Peak biting periods are dusk and dawn, but mosquitoes are active all day, especially on hot and humid days. Different mosquito-borne diseases can affect your health, but malaria is the most important in South Africa. Chikungunya, West Nile, Sindbis and Rift Valley fever are also present and can cause fever and other symptoms.

 

Common mosquito species in South Africa:

 

Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)

Southern house mosquitoes are just like other mosquito species. They breed in and around stagnant water, including birdbaths, tires, and other containers. Females lay rafts of eggs along the water's surface.

 

Malaria Mosquito (Anopheles)

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease transmitted through the bite of the female of this species mosquito. The high-risk areas in South Africa include the far north of KwaZulu-Natal, the Lowveld areas of Mpumalanga, including the Kruger National Park and the northeastern parts of Limpopo.

 

Aedes Mosquito (Aedes aegypti)

Adult Aedes mosquitoes are easy to identify because they have a narrow, black bodies. They also have unique patterns of light and dark scales on their abdomen and thorax and alternating bands on their legs.

  • Expert Advice

    EXPERT ADVICE

    You can help keep mozzies at bay with regular housekeeping. Mosquitoes breed in still or stagnant water, so check for water build-ups around your home. Empty out cans, clear blocked guttering, and tip out water in empty plant pots and any containers that hold water.

  • Fun Facts

    MOSQUITOES SENSE YOUR BREATH

    Mosquitoes are attracted to CO2. That's why we see them flying around our heads while we're exhaling. In fact, they can smell it from 50 metres away, so it's tough to outsmart them when we're outdoors.

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