The Mosquitos Behind the Zika Virus
The blood-sucking mosquito Aedes aegypti is the villain spreading the new Zika virus. One way to protect ourselves from catching this virus is to get to know this menacing pest. Like cockroaches and pigeons the Aedes mosquito loves populated areas. Because it can lay eggs in as little as an ounce of water this mosquito isn’t hindered by the need to find natural water sources to breed in. We provide plenty of them all over our cities, from the bit of water left in an outside pot after a rain to the gutters in our streets. These guys can breed just about anywhere, meaning they can live right near their source of food…us. The Aedes mosquito is perfectly adapted for crowded urban areas full of people to bite and infect. While the Zika virus is getting all of the attention for now, this mosquito is also well known for spreading yellow fever and dengue.
The female mosquito is the main villain in this scenario, as she is the one that needs to feed on blood in order to lay eggs. And guess who their main source of food is. Yep, it’s us. Since they feed almost exclusively on humans, it is simple for them to pick up a disease from one human and then pass it on to another. Unlike most species of mosquito, the Aedes mosquito feeds during the day rather than at dawn and dusk, so they are active during the same time their food, us, is. This means that you need to be vigilant at all times of being bitten. Wear bug repellent even when you’re inside and the day feels cool.
Did you know the Aedes mosquito was such a big threat or that they’ve evolved to basically be the biggest pain to humans?