What types of mosquitoes bite?

There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes. What should you be looking out for if there's one in your house?

Firstly, it's only female mosquitoes that bite, causing those itchy red marks on your skin. Females need the nutrition in your blood to develop their eggs.

So how exactly do you tell the sex of a mosquito?

There are a few things to look out for. The male mosquito is smaller in size and doesn't make that annoying buzzing sound you hear - that comes only from the female.

Male mosquitoes have a slightly different appearance too. Just like humans, males are hairier than females. They have more fine hairs on their attennae, so appear bushier to the naked eye. These hairs, or flagella, are important for a male's mosquito's hearing, which he needs when searching for a female mosquito.

The female on the other hand has less bushy antennae and contain odor receptors which she needs for when seeking out blood. Pretty gruesome eh?

Because male mosquitoes have no need for human blood, you typically don't see them around human habitation.

Mosquito species

Anopheles Mosquito
anopheles mosquito

The Anopheles mosquito is responsible for transmitting maleria and can be identified by its light and dark markings on its wings, which rest at 45 degrees angle to the surface.

The Anopheles prefer clean and unpolluted water. They will bite at night and rest both indoors and outdoors, depending on the species. Their preference is for darker colours (hence why you should wear lighter colours).

Aedes Mosquitoes (Aedes Aegypti)

Aedes Aegypti mosquito

The black and white markings of the adult Aedes Aegypti are what makes it stand out. This species of mosquito can be most commonly found in containers, especially man-made containers with clean water. The Aedes Aegypti also prefer darker colours like black and red.

Peak time for biting is at the change of light intesity (after sunrise and before sunset), so keep indoors if possible at these times.

Culex Mosquito (Culex Tritaeniorhynchus)

Culex mosquito

The adult Culex mosquito is distinguished by the brown scales on its thorax, legs and veins on the wings. Dull in colour, the tip of the abdomen is always blunt.

The Culex mosquito makes it habitat in polluted stagnant water and drains. They bite mostly at night and then rest indoors before and after the blood meal. Sometimes you will see them resting outdoors.

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito

Dalai Lama