Vampire hoards

From Bug News

by Erika Tucker, Assistant Research Scientist and Collection Manager of Insects, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Have you been inundated with hoards and hoards of flying, bloodsucking, tiny demons this summer? Yeah, me too 🙁

In case you didn’t guess from the photo header, I’m not talking about actual mythological vampires. I’m talking about the real bloodsuckers just outside our windows (well hopefully they’re are outside!) – MOSQUITOES.

Did you know – Mosquitoes are a type of fly in the taxonomic group, “Family”, Culcidae. Only the female mosquitoes drink blood. They need the protein for laying their eggs. Males couldn’t care less about warm-blooded creatures and just go around procreating and occasionally sipping nectar from the flowers.

I don’t remember them being so bad last summer. They hadn’t been a problem this year either, up until a few days ago. Then, all of a sudden, the mosquito population just exploded. And not in a good way. So, I did the usual check around the property to look for potential breeding sites. Mosquitoes breed and their babies develop in any small bit of standing water. This could be anything from an empty flowerpot, to an old tire, to a puddle in your driveway that never drains – they only need an inch or two for a few days to complete their life cycle and turn into blood-sucking monsters.

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A mosquito on an arm ready to dig in
Look out!