Culex mosquito

culex mosquitoCulex mosquito is a common house mosquito and one of the major types that inhabit the planet. It typically obtains blood meals from birds and is therefore not considered too much of a health threat compared to Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes. However, it cannot be ignored that this mosquito remains a vector for varying diseases that can be fatal to humans. They include West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, Avian malaria, filariasis, St. Louis encephalitis and arbovirus infections.

Adult culex mosquitoes measure 4 to 10 mm and have the thorax, abdomen and head clearly defined. The fore wings are held horizontally over the abdomen when they are at rest. It can be hard to tell the difference between an anopheles and culex mosquito but usually the bodily proportions, bristles and other bodily features are used to tell them apart. Culex female mosquitoes have shorter maxillary palps compared to the anopheles females and they retain a horizontal pose even when feeding, whereas the anopheles sits with head low and rear end raised high. The larvae of Culex mosquito float head low with the tail siphon held at surface level, whereas the anopheles larvae floats horizontally on water surface.

Habits

The females of course require blood feeds to mature eggs before laying them and they will use standing water as their breeding grounds. The males one the other hand solely feed on plant nectar. The mosquitos have brief lives living anywhere between 10 to 14 days. The bites from the female are itchy and can get painful for some and they mosquitos usually bite after dusk and at dawn. The most notable thing about the mosquito is that it is a weak flier and it has blunt tip on the abdomen.

Lifecycle

Female mosquitoes can deposit 100 eggs up to 300 eggs at a go and it only takes as little as two days for the eggs to hatch. The larva lives in water for at least a week before emerging to the surface occasionally to get oxygen. At the pupa phase it floats on the water surface and rests to transform into adult mosquito. The mosquito remains on the water surface stationary when it enters adult phase until the body has hardened fully and the wings dry and ready for flying. Females then find mates and blood feeds before laying eggs.

Control

Because mosquitos including the culex mosquito can transmit diseases, you really cannot take your chances. To control them start by eliminating all stagnant water around where you are and ensure that you get leaks and damp areas taken care of so that proper drying takes place. The culex mosquito usually bites after dusk and sleeping under a mosquito net can help you avoid the bites. You can also protect yourself by using mosquito repellents that contain DEET, Icaridin or IR3535 and by wearing light colored clothes that cover you up as much as possible. Paying attention to your surroundings will work in keeping mosquitoes at bay so look out for sites that can support breeding and take the necessary measures. 

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