Have you ever seen a mosquito in an airplane? It’s a common problem that makes air travel less pleasant. The insects that transmit diseases are the Aedes group, which includes the Asian tiger mosquito, inland floodwater mosquito, tree hole mosquito, and other species. They feed on the blood of humans and other mammals, and lay their eggs in small cavities. When they feed, they inject saliva into the wound. The saliva contains an anticoagulant, which ensures a smooth flow of blood. But it also contains pathogens, which can lead to severe health problems.
The dangers of mosquito bites are increasing. In the U.S., the threat of malaria is greater than the risk of encephalitis. And there are several viruses that are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito, including West Nile virus, St. Louis virus, LaCrosse virus, and Eastern equine virus. The word “mosquito” comes from the Latin word diptera, meaning “two wings.” It has four pairs of legs and two pairs of wings. Its head and body are shaped like a circular bowl. Its wings are rounded and its body has hairscales on its legs and thorax.
In addition to flying in an airplane, mosquitoes can fly up to 20 miles away from a water source. But they don’t fly that fast. They flutter in the wind to search for host odors. The shortest flight is on a calm day with no wind, but in a hot, humid day, fewer mosquitoes are about. It’s a good idea to wear bug repellent, because mosquitoes are a nuisance.