We all have experienced the annoyance of mosquitoes in the spring, summer and fall. Cats are plagued by these parasites the same way people are.
What is a mosquito?
Mosquitoes are insects that have adapted extremely well to living off a host’s blood. While not strong fliers, these parasites can find hosts from a distance, then attack, feed and escape without much notice.
The success of the species does not lie with the adults alone. The mosquito at each life stage; egg larvae, pupae and adult is unique and well adapted to survive within its environment. The mosquito life-cycle can last from one to two months depending on environmental conditions. This allows for several generations to emerge in any given year. This is particularly true for warmer months or warmer regions where high numbers of mosquitoes reproduce yearly.
Feeding and breeding habits
The adult male mosquito feeds on nectar rather than blood. Only adult females feed on blood, in order to produce eggs. She uses cues to locate her host, including odor, movement and carbon dioxide exhaled from the host.
The female mosquito looks for a host immediately upon emerging from the pupae. After feeding, she will then lay her first batch of eggs and search for her next host. After her second and last blood meal, she lays her second batch of eggs. This dual host / egg-laying characteristic creates the potential for mosquito population explosions.
Mosquitoes and disease
Not all mosquitoes carry all diseases. But because the range of distribution for a variety of species do overlap, personal protection for you and your pets is important to help avoid the bite of any disease-carrying mosquitoes.