The common house mosquito

The common house mosquito is the most common blood-feeding mosquito in Europa , North America and central Asia. It is also a vector of some diseases, such as Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, filariasis and urticaria. In the US, it can spread the West Nile virus. The reason for this is that the common house mosquito feeds on the blood of birds and humans, transporting viral and bacterial particles and injecting this in others animals. Mosquito-borne diseases cause millions of deaths worldwide. These are mostly children in developing countries. But the mosquito stich also gives a lot of nuisance , by causing an itching allergic reaction

Finding their target

Mosquito's go hunting at dawn, as it is easier to recognize theire targets: birds or humans. They use exhaled carbon dioxide, body odors and temperature, and also movement to home in on their victims. Only female mosquitoes have the mouth parts necessary for sucking blood. They inject an enzyme that inhibits blood clotting and then to suck blood into their bodies.

Prevention, the four D's:

Drain stagnant water! This is the most effectiv measurement. The Culex musquito is a lazy flier and don't flies up to more then 5 houses away.
Dress in clothes with long sleeves. Avoid the bite.
Dusk/dawn are the time of day when culex mosquitoes are most active, stay indoor at that time.
DEET is the best repellent.

breeding mosquitoes

The house mosquito lays their its egges in water in rafts of 300 eggs. These eggs hatch in two days. Mosquito prefer stagnant water, especially with no other animals inside it. The best is polluted water: here they are invisible and as they have an siphon, they can use the outside air to breath. Optimum temperature is about 21 degrees Celsius.

Standing water and mosquito's

Preventing mosquito's is the most effective way to get rid of them. This is done by removing all stagnant water in youre neighborhood. Mosquito's don't fly very far in theire live, mostly less then a mile. - Some spots that collect water are well known : tires and old buckets and flower pot dishes. Its often possible to make a hole in the underside of it instead of throwing it away. - The roof is can contain water that is blocked by leaves. - Feeding youre animals sometimes makes the animal troughs and birthbaths filled with stagnant water. - ponds and drenches are great placs for mosquito larvae.

Guppies and minnows used to control mosquito numbers.
An illustration by Hashime Murayama.
Both guppies and minnows have an extreme high reproduction rate, making them very usefull as a way of eliminating the larvae,

Mosquito larvae waiting to be eaten as as a living food.

Culex pipiens or common house mosquito compared with Anopheles or malaria mosquito, are strongly related mosquitoes. A poster from the Humboldt collection.
1 eggs
2 silhouette
3 larva, floating directly under the surface
4 poppa
5 antenna

The Humboldt collection

On this website some illustrations can be found from the Humboldt collection of the Humboldt University in Berlin. These illustrations are called "Wandtafel": They were used once for the education of the students.
barrel jellyfish

living food for fishes

Living food differs in content of fat and content of protein.