Welcome back from the long weekend! Bet you got some mosquito bites. Actually, not mosquito bites but… mosquito injection sites? Blood withdrawal mounds? Whatever you call them, they itch! And they really do itch and swell more in the spring. You gradually build up a tolerance to mosquito saliva as the season progresses.
Most people know that it’s only the females that “bite.” So it’s also only the females that make that annoying whining noise right in your ear so you end up slapping yourself on the side of the head. And of course it’s the females that lay the eggs – 1-3 hundred at a time, and 1-3 thousand in a lifetime. The males have something to do with that army of spawn too, but they have no nurturing instinct. They don’t gather blood, they flit among the flowers, drinking nectar and pond scum (which is what mosquitoes eat rather than blood).
It must be a pretty successful survival strategy, considering that mosquitoes hung around the dinosaurs (we know this from Jurassic Park). Can you imagine that T-rex with his little arms trying to slap the mosquito biting the back of his neck? That was a lucky head start for the mosquitoes, who went on to establish 2,700 varieties of themselves. There are more than 70 species here in Alberta. Each kind carries it’s own selection of diseases. Their malaria cargo alone has won them the title of “deadliest creature on Earth”. Yes, your hatred of mosquitoes is well justified.
So how can you avoid them? There are lots of ways! For instance, you can stop breathing (mosquitoes find you by the carbon dioxide you exhale), be a brunette (mosquitoes like blondes best), and spend your life 25 feet above the ground (mosquitoes aren’t very upgoing). Follow these simple tips and enjoy a mosquito-free summer!