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Mosquito control

New Zealand only has 13 sandfly and 12 mosquito species that are native. The striped mosquito is the mosquito most often seen in the North Island and females may bite during the day and at night. In the South Island the species is thought to occur only in Nelson, Marlborough and Christchurch.

The brown house mosquito is native to warmer parts of the Americas. It is thought to have arrived via the water supplies of American whaling ships, probably in the 1830s. It is found around North Island ports and occurs as far south as Marlborough. It readily bites people and lays its eggs in standing water around houses (for example, in guttering, bird baths and septic tanks).

Common mosquito questions:

Why do mosquitoes feed off blood?

To be precise, only female mosquitoes bite people. Male mosquitoes exist primarily to help with reproduction. Females, on the other hand, have a proboscis, which is a long tube which serves as a mouth, similar to that of butterflies. Female mosquitoes penetrate the human skin with the proboscis in order to suck blood. The blood provides nutrients for egg development.

In which areas do mosquitoes congregate?

You may have noticed that mosquitoes seem to proliferate in certain areas. They favour areas around stagnant water, which provides a medium for egg laying and larval development. This is why it’s important to avoid stagnant water lying around in your garden or other areas of your property.

Why are mosquitoes attracted to people?

There are a number of reasons why mosquitoes enjoy feeding on human blood. This is because:

  • They require it for egg development
  • They are highly sensitive to carbon dioxide
  • They are attracted to the smell of sweat, due to the odours and kairomones released
  • They are attracted to lactic and uric acid, and ammonia, which can be found on human skin

There are other reasons why mosquitoes enjoy feeding off humans that can not be helped. Japanese research uncovered that mosquitoes prefer the blood of O blood types, in comparison to A blood types. So, as scientists claim, the reason as to why we're more attractive to mosquitoes over other people is 85% due to genetics.

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