Gallinipper Mosquito

gallinipper-mosquitoAbout 20 times the size of a normal mosquito, approximately 30 times the size of a normal Aedes mosquito, Gallinipper mosquitoes have invaded Florida and have moved across several other states. The Psorophora ciliate, Gallinipper mosquitoes, Commonly known as the American Gallinipper or the Shaggy Legged Gallinipper,, also called the “hairy Legged Zebra” mosquito is the largest in the world.. Gallinipper mosquitoes act like other mosquitoes, the female mosquitoes feed on animal blood. Female mosquitoes hunt for blood by tracking exhaled carbon dioxide back to its source. They can also hone in on temperature. When a female mosquito bites, it penetrates the skin with two tubes. One tube injects an inhibitive enzyme that stops blood clots, the other siphons blood. The Gallinipper mosquito feeds on both people and pets and have been documented as feeding on fish.
The bite from the Gallinipper mosquito is painful, some say it is like a small stab wound. Think medical injection. It is more painful when it withdraws its tubes than it is when it first inserts in to you. These large mosquitoes can penetrate through multiple layers of clothes. The bad news is also that the voracious female of the species seeks blood meals day and night, instead of the more predictable dusk to dawn of other common mosquitoes and become particularly aggressive if her habitat is invaded or disturbed.
The good news it that urban city areas are not their natural habitat. You are more likely to find them in pastures, swampy areas, and areas that flood. It is considered to be a "flood mosquito" - one whose population surges after flooding from hurricanes and major storms, so if you live in a dry area, you may not be threatened with these mosquitoes. More good news is that humans are not a mosquito's first choice for food. Rather, they prefer horses, cattle and birds to us. Also, Gallinipper mosquitoes are not known to carry any dangerous diseases.
Like other mosquitoes, Gallinipper mosquitoes have a lifespan ranging from two weeks to six months. Unlike other mosquitoes, this one does not lay eggs in water, they lay their eggs in flood or water prone areas and they can go dormant until rain comes. The larvae are insatiable predators - dining upon the larvae of other mosquito species.
What can you do to protect yourself from these mega Gallinipper mosquitoes? Keep breeding areas as limited as possible. Due to their sheer size and robust physique, they are less susceptible to standard insect repellents like DEET but you should continue to use repellents. If these mosquitoes are a problem in your area, you should consider using an electric mosquito “zapper” type light. Studies have shown that Gallinipper mosquitoes are attracted to light, especially blue light and these may be the most effective method of control around your property.

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