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Mosquitoes

Life Cycle of Notorious Mosquitoes – All you need to know

Introduction:

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest species on the planet, except for Iceland they are present in every other country in the world. Their time on earth varies from specie to specie and is largely determined by their environment. It is seen that female mosquitoes can lay eggs for the rest of their lives by mating only once. Males are known to feed on nectar and plant juice and survive for 1-2 weeks. Females, on the other hand, survive for a month or less and feed on nectar and blood when pregnant. They can lay 50-500 eggs in their first reproduction cycle and can lay up to 3,000 eggs in one lifetime.

The Lifespan of Mosquitoes:

There are various mosquito species around the world; they all share different reproduction processes and life cycles. It is seen that some mosquito species can survive only in the summers, and as the winter approaches, they die, even though their eggs live through the winter weather and hatch in spring. Some other species tend to hibernate during the cold, and their lifespan as an adult mosquito lasts for months. Mosquitoes generally prefer warm and humid climates, which explains why global warming increases mosquito breeding. It is noticed that mosquitoes can sustain between 50 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The adult males survive on nectar, similar foods, and plant juices; their lifespan is about a week, long enough to mate and reproduce with the females. Females, on the other hand, require the nutrients from human or animal blood to mature eggs. This is the reason they bite humans or animals. The lifespan of the feminine members is long and lasts up to a month or two. But they may also die sooner, get slapped, blown around, or eaten by predators.

Mosquito Life Cycle – Explained in stages

An estimated 3,000 species of mosquitoes live around the globe. The mosquito’s life cycle is broadly divided into four stages. The length of the mosquito life cycle varies from species to species and is largely affected by climatic changes like temperature, moisture, etc. However, all mosquitoes share the same life-cycle comprising of the egg, larva, pupa, and adult. These stages are explained below in detail.

1. Egg (The first stage):

The female mosquitoes lay eggs after mating with their male members. They can lay around 3,000 eggs in one lifetime, although many don’t survive that long. They do not require much water and mostly lay eggs in any standing or slow-flowing water. So a slight disturbance in the water might kill the eggs completely. The eggs lay dormant throughout the winter season until they finally hatch. The mosquitoes which inhabit the houses are usually found in ditches, sewage lines, or abandoned tires as they require water that has been left standing for less than a week to lay eggs. Many species tend to lay as many as hundreds of eggs side by side and stacked making layers onto each other. It forms a raft that floats on the water. It takes about a week for mosquito eggs to hatch, but most eggs hatch between 1-3 days after being exposed to water. Also, if the female mosquitoes are deprived of blood, they might not be able to reproduce.

2. Larvae (The second stage):

After hatching, the eggs convert into larvae within 1-2 days, which are about one-fourth an inch in length and look like hairy worms. The larvae firstborn are aquatic, and sometimes they get eaten by fishes before they mature. This is why it is suggested to breed some fishes in case you own a pond in your backyard. The larvae float close to the surface, and slowly learn to breathe near the surface of the water body. They feed upon algae, bacteria, and other organic material. The amount of time between the larva and pupa stage usually lasts for a few days. Larvae in this duration molt four times, growing larger with each molt. After the final molt, they grow half an inch in length. Most species also develop a siphon tube that extends from their abdomen. Most larvae breathe through air tubes. Mosquitoes cannot survive without water when they are in Larvae and pupae stage.

3. Pupae (The third stage):

The lifespan of larvae ends within five to ten days. Food availability and other surrounding conditions, even predators, play a major role in the process of metamorphosis. The pupae can be easily spotted on the surface of the water. It takes 7-10 days for the larvae to transform into the pupae. When the mosquitoes reach their pupa form, they avoid any motion and quit feeding or molting as they prefer to rest. Then a fully developed mosquito emerges as an adult out of its pupae case. The adult then stands upon the water to dry its wings and launches a flight. Adult female mosquitoes then start seeking an animal to feed upon.

4. Adult (The last stage):

The adult, with legs and wings forming, then come to the surface and rests there on the top of the water to dry off. The mosquitoes rest on the water’s surface until its legs and wings are strong enough to support it. Once their wings are fully dried, the adult flies in the open sky and seek blood meals to continue to mature. They then eventually mate with the opposite sex and lay eggs to start the cycle all over again. Males live for a couple of weeks, but females can live for almost a month or more. The males feed on nectar and fruit juices, whereas, as mentioned earlier, the females feed on blood to mature their eggs. After finding blood, the female lays the eggs and starts the cycle all over again.

Conclusion

The metamorphosis of mosquitoes depends on a lot of factors. And, it can range from just four days to as long as a month. It varies depending on the mosquito species and the environment. This entire life cycle of a female usually lasts between 42 – 56 days. Whereas, the male mosquitoes survive only up till 7-10 days.

Categories
Mosquitoes

Mosquito Bands/Bracelets – All you need to know

During summers, getting rid of mosquitoes is a real task. It appears that these clingy beings love to hang out with us humans. Though many products may aid one from these tiny friends, not everyone is a big fan of products loaded with DEET, and do not feel comfortable using them. And to sort out this problem, the market has come up with another effective product to get rid of mosquito bites. There are bracelets and wrist bands that have essential oils and repelling agents to ensure your safety. However, sadly, there are not enough funds available to carry out proper research in this field. These devices claim to be effective and are convenient to use. Let us glance at the mosquito repellent bracelets and bands that the market currently has to offer.

We tried a few mosquito bands to see if they work. The bands are aesthetically pleasing. They look like any other bands and could be worn and removed easily, as something you might want to add to your dressing kit. Nevertheless, there always lingers a doubt on how much a localized essential oil band could protect? It is hard to believe in its ability in the beginning, but within a few hours, you observe that the petty insects are nowhere near you. Even though they exist not so far away from where you are at, they will not dare step close to you. This is an excellent product to be used during summers.

Also Read – Mosquito Repellent Plants – Backed by Research

These mosquito repellent bands are mostly filled with natural botanical ingredients, like the essential oils are known to keep mosquitoes away. These include citronella, lemongrass, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils, which release vapors that mosquitoes are not very fond of and often make them lose their desire for blood. 

The bracelets are waterproof and provide 10-15 days long protection from mosquitoes. Also, they can be easily worn around your ankle or arm and could be used as a tie for your hair, making you look only good.

Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

A UK newspaper revealed that mosquito repellent bands generally earned positive reviews from shoppers and stacked many five-star reviews on Amazon. 

Mosquito repellent bracelets are wrist-bands that are impregnated with naturally occurring essential oil extracts like citronella or lemongrass. In short, these are bracelets with additional repelling compounds.

You have probably already noticed that they are pretty affordable. They are stretchable, good-looking, come in various colours, including neon, and look nothing like a repellent. The bracelets are mostly waterproof, but they tend to become fragile with extended exposure to water or the sunlight. It is advisable to switch them after some time and store the rest in a sealed bag, away from exposure to the sun.

How do the Repellent Bracelets Work?

These bracelets work by releasing natural chemicals into the air that block a mosquito’s ability to detect their target. However, it is vital to note that the mosquito repellent bracelets do not kill mosquitoes. They also do not create a shield around us. The length of time they work varies depending on the oil used and the type of mosquito.

Odours and chemicals are carried in the air, keeping you protected as long as the scent lasts. Majorly natural plant oils are used to ward off mosquitoes. However, nowadays, these products are accompanied by small refill sprays that have active repellent. One can also reuse them by buying a cheap refill spray. 

Some bracelets come with the scent of such natural oils, so you do not have to go for topical repellents. Oils from citronella(also used in mosquito incense sticks), lavender, and peppermint are the most common types of bracelets containing zero DEET. They are less obvious and easy to handle.

The Life of the Bracelets

The bracelets last two weeks or more until their effectiveness decreases as the active ingredient is being used. They require no maintenance or cleaning whatsoever. You have to wear them.

Are Mosquito Repellent Bracelets Effective?

Mosquito repellent bracelets do repel mosquitoes but not wholly. This depends on the individual plant, and the essential oil is extracted from as every plant has a unique quantity of essential oils in it. There are mixed opinions from people who have tested the bands.

Most people agree that the bands neither shield against high mosquito activity and nor offer protection for the entire body. It is hard for one wrist-band to provide a whole-body shield. Also, in areas densely inhabited by mosquitoes, wearing multiple bands might not help at all.

The best use of the bands is to provide a lower level of protection. They can provide excellent help when you need to protect just a little exposed skin, like that of your wrists, ankles, etc., and not the whole body.

Are the Bands Safe?

Mosquito repellent bracelets are not known to use any harsh chemicals. The companies claim to use essential oils extracted from plants in their processing. That does not mean they are undoubtedly safe. If the extracts used in the bracelets are concentrated, they may not be entirely safe.

Suggested Alternative – Neem Oil for Mosquitoes – Is it effective?

You must follow all the instructions so that you can wear them with assurance. It is also advisable to check the package to verify that you’re not allergic to the product. Make sure to use other repellents along with the bracelet if your surroundings inhabit a handsome sum of mosquitoes.

 

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Mosquitoes Reviews

Best Mosquito Repellent Apps for Your Mobile Phone -2020

The World Health Organization revealed that mosquitoes killed 24,000 Indians in the year 2015 and another report by the same organization states that India along with 20 other countries accounts for 85% of malaria cases worldwide. Since ages, people have fought an ongoing battle with the blood-sucking beasts, mosquitoes. In turn, this led to the invention of many products that claim to kill mosquitoes. As technology built up, people got even lazier, which paved the way for mosquito repellent and mosquito killer apps. Today there are numerous mobile applications available on both Android and Apple devices. Also, YouTube has videos that play sound at a particular frequency and claim to be an effective solution to keep mosquitoes away. However, are these apps beneficial? Do these frequencies wards off mosquitoes? If they do, then to what extent do they protect you? Nowadays, to shield themselves from life-threatening diseases, people have started relying on Mosquito Repeller apps, which still stand on no grounds of scientific evidence to proclaim their viability. Let us learn more about such mobile apps.

Mobile Apps  as  a  Mosquito Repellent

There is no scientific evidence to prove that high-frequency sounds repel mosquitoes. However, many people market various sound-producing gadgets to repel mosquitoes.

The sound broadcasts cover a range of different frequencies; some even imitate mosquito predators like dragonflies. Nevertheless, there is little to no scientific evidence that they work.

Suggested Read – Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are known to generate sound frequencies ranging from 17.4 kHz to 20 kHz. The mobile app emits sounds between the range of 9 kHz to 22 kHz. Even when people cannot hear it, mosquitoes can sense and avoid these types of frequencies.

What Does the App Really Do?

Science asserts that humans can hear sound between the range of 20-20,000 Hz or 20 kHz. However, it should be noted that as they age, they find it harder to recognize specific frequencies. The apps claim to emit 14 kHz, 16 kHz, and 20 kHz frequencies. They allow the user to choose the frequency they want. Some apps in the market claim to emit a high-frequency sound to repel mosquitoes. These sounds resemble that of a natural predator, such as a dragonfly, those female mosquitoes are known to avoid. Some apps mimic the sound of a male mosquito; if a female mosquito (which causes malaria) has mated with the male already, she might avoid the male drawing them away from the sound. However, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that high-frequency devices repel mosquitoes.

The pregnant female mosquito causes mosquito bites since they have a fondness for fresh blood, while the males binge flower nectar. Mosquito-repelling apps are designed to emit a high-pitched noise, which is seen to mimic mosquito predators’ sound, like dragonflies or male mosquitoes, the noises that pregnant female mosquitoes are seen to avoid.

Top 5 Mosquito Repelling Apps

There are nearly 200 such mobile apps that are available on Google play store. We tried many apps to see how effective they are. It turns out some apps are of no use at all; they falsely claim to repel mosquitoes, but they do the opposite when it comes to reality. Other apps may have some effect on mosquitoes, but it is not sure whether they are successful in providing full protection.

1. Mosquito Repellent | Anti Mosquito Sound App

Mosquito Repellent | Anti Mosquito Sound App - Google Playstore This application is designed specifically for the buzzing little insets. This app prevents one from mosquito bites by emitting high-frequency ultrasounds that repel mosquitoes. The app generates some frequency sounds that mimic the sound of mosquito predators, keeping them away.

Link – View on Google Playstore

2. Anti Mosquito Repellent Sound Simulator

Anti Mosquito Repellent Sound Simulator - Google Playstore

This app is an easy-to-use app that allows you to play nine different frequencies on your phone. There are also frequencies ranging from 8 kHz to 22 kHz. Once you get higher than 20 kHz, the sound becomes ultrasonic. The app does not have scientific backing or data indicating that it works; the developers say that it should be used to experiment rather than used as a person’s lone method of mosquito protection.

Link – View on Google Playstore

3. Anti Mosquito Sonic Repeller

Anti Mosquito Sonic Repeller - Google Playstore

The app is one of the simplest apps in the market. It is very innate and easy to use. When you open the app, there are varied frequencies available. It is an excellent app to start experimenting with since it does not prove its efficacy.

Link – View on Google Playstore

4. Anti-Mosquito Repellent: Frequency App for Mosquito

Anti-Mosquito Repellent:Frequency App for Mosquito - Google Playstore

This application claims to provide prevention from mosquitoes. This app emits frequency sound that insects may dislike and run away from. It does not guarantee full protection, but it is suitable for a trial since downloading a mobile application does no harm.

5. Anti Mosquito Sound

Anti Mosquito Sound - Google Playtore

This application prevents one from mosquitoes and some other bugs. This app emits certain frequency sounds which insects dislike; some frequencies may not be audible to humans. However, this app also does not guarantee 100% protection; indeed only decreases the mosquito obstacle a bit.

Also Read : Mosquito Bands/Bracelets – All you need to know

Apart from mobile applications, YouTube also provides links to various channels that claim to emit anti-mosquito sounds. Here is a Link of an Mp3 Anti Mosquito Sound on YouTube. Again there is no scientific proof that may prove its efficacy.

Conclusion

There is little or no evidence regarding the efficiency of any sound repellent for mosquitoes. Scientists are yet struggling to discover a specific frequency or set of variable frequencies, which may prove effective against mosquitoes. Downloading a mosquito repelling app does not ensure complete defense, and it is suggested to also have other defense mechanisms like mosquito repellents plants or mosquito incense sticks to avoid the deadly beasts. This is why using a net, or liquid insect repellent largely reduces the chance of getting bit.

Downloading a few apps from the play store does not harm and could help check whether the varied frequencies get results. Some apps have frequencies that young people can hear but not elders as they cannot listen to specific frequencies as they age. Other apps might have frequencies totally outside the range of human hearing. It is one’s choice which method to pick to shelter oneself.