Hi everyone and welcome to something a little different! Each week we will look at something from nature that can be a little fun, or perhaps a little weird, or maybe a little painful. I hope you will enjoy this summer series. Before I forget, today is normally our coffee series day, but it just didn’t work out for today so it will be here tomorrow instead as will our continuing mystery story. Now back to little things. Today we look at some little creatures that most people would agree are pests and it would be nice not to have them. Mosquitoes.
Here in Ontario we have 67 confirmed varieties of mosquitoes including one called a “galleynipper” that is 20 times the size of a normal mosquito and apparently they have a huge bite that is quite painful. We don’t have them this far north however, which is kind of nice. For many varieties there whole life cycle from egg to adult can take less than 10 days. Even though we consider these creatures pests, they do play an important role in nature. Many things eat a lot of mosquitoes every day, including bats and many different birds. I encounter quite a few mosquitoes along the path to the river, although oddly, their numbers are getting less even though there is a lot of water around. I’m not complaining about that however.
As you can see in the pic above, some days the mosquitoes are quite plentiful. There is only 4 on my hand in this picture, one at the top can’t be seen too well. But some days the number has topped 12 on my hand, but my record for both hands and arms sits at 42, all biting at the same time. Plus there was more on my face and neck which I couldn’t really see so did not include in the count.
Only the female bites, males cannot. The female needs the blood for her eggs. But both sexes feed mostly on nectar from flowers or other sugar sources. Here in Canada there are two diseases that can be acquired from mosquitoes, the West Nile virus as well as encephalitis. And of course for most people there is that nasty little lump that can become annoyingly itchy. Mosquitoes don’t bother me in that way, no lump or itchiness or anything else. But they still can be a bit annoying, especially when trying to sleep and all you hear is that buzzzzzzzzzing sound!
Well, that’s it for this one, please come back next time when we will look at something perhaps a little weird. I hope you all have a wonderful day and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2020 Steve McLeod.