Once July comes around you’ll start to see more and more of those pesky mosquitoes. When you’re in the backcountry camping you’ll hear the incessant buzz of their wings against the side of your tent. If you hike Snow King in the evening you’ll start to see some swarms following you once the sun goes behind the mountain. Or, you won’t even notice any mosquitoes around you but you’ll find multiple bug bites on your legs after you eat a late dinner on your back porch.
Whatever the case may be, you are bound to have more than a few interactions with mosquitoes this summer. So, you might as well learn a few facts about your pesky neighbors.
For now, scientists have identified over 3,600 species of mosquitoes globally. Yet in Teton County we only see about 39 species. Of those 39, some are more common and others are quite difficult to find.
Out of the 3,600 known species, less than 200 (or less than 10%) transmit pathogens.
Did you know?
- Not all mosquito species bite humans. Some feed on plants, frogs, earthworms, and leeches.
- If you’re faced with a species that does feed on humans, remember that only the female mosquitoes bite you. The males feed on nectar and other plant products.
- Mosquitoes use sight, heat, and chemical signals to find you. You’re more likely to be bitten if you’re moving around and if you produce a lot of carbon dioxide. While we all breathe out CO2, some people have higher concentrations than others which make them a larger target. Bummer, huh?
- Mosquitoes are tenacious little creatures. Although we don’t have this species here in Teton County, salt marsh mosquitoes are known to migrate over 40 miles.
- Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes. One theory about this phenomenon is that darker clothing mimics large game animals which are also a main food source for mosquitoes. According to this theory, that pesky mosquito may mistake you for an elk or even a moose.
Even though mosquitoes can cause disease and harm to humans and animals alike, they are still fascinating creatures. Have any questions about these little buggers? Stop by our office at 7575 South Highway 89 or give us a call at (307) 733-8419.