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11 little-known facts about mosquitoes

5:57 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- They kill more humans than any other animal. They number in the trillions, and their familiar buzz lets you know they are out for blood. It is the mosquito, and thanks to heavy rain and flooding, they are everywhere.

Here are 11 mosquito facts:

1.  The mosquito is the number one killer of humans because it can transmit disease like yellow fever, malaria and West Nile Virus.

2.  Eggs of the Floodwater Mosquito may remain dormant for several years and hatch when they are covered with water. The heavy flooding in West Michigan earlier this spring this is causing the mosquito boom. The good news is that this type of mosquito not does carry West Nile, however that species of mosquito will hatch later in the season.

3.  Some people attract more mosquitoes than others. Scientists are not certain why but believe it has to do with the 300 chemicals our skin produces. Scientists believe some of us produce more attractive chemicals than others.

4.  Mosquitoes are also attracted to carbon dioxide and can smell it from 60 feet away.

5.  They can also sense heat and humidity that surrounds our bodies.

6.  A recent study found that mosquitoes are more attractive to people who drink beer and alcohol. (Could that also be why they're so prevalent in Beer City, USA?)

7.  The average Floodwater Mosquito can live for around six weeks.

8.  Only the female mosquito sucks blood; they drink about 5-millionth of a liter in a single meal.

9.  Mosquitoes can fly about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.

10.  They can see contrast and movement, but not color.

11. Some scientists say no animal depends on the mosquito for survival.

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Have a happy mosquito season.

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