HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- Mosquitos love the warm and wet climate in Hawaii. That is why you probably have been bitten by a mosquito before. The U.S. Navy is working to make sure that we are protected from mosquitos and more importantly the diseases they can spread. Lieutenant Sutherland from the Pearl Harbor NEPMU-6 unit shows us how they use science to protect us from a nasty bite. Check out the video!
Dr. V Show: Mosquitos
Mosquitos love the warm and wet climate in Hawaii. That is why you probably have been bitten by a mosquito before. Mosquitos start off as a raft of eggs floating on the surface of water. The eggs then hatch into the larval stage (they look like wiggly worms), where they live in the water and breathe air through a breathing tube. During this stage, they shed their skin four times as they grow larger. On the fourth molt (skin shedding), they go into the pupa stage, similar to a caterpillar in a cocoon. In the pupa stage, the mosquito is metamorphosing into the mosquito you see flying around and biting you. It takes about two days for the adult mosquito to develop. Mosquitos live anywhere from four days to a month. Most female mosquitos feed on blood and give you those itchy bites, while the males feed on flower nectars.
Learning how to prevent mosquitos is important because, including giving you itchy bites, mosquitos also transmit diseases, such as dengue fever, West Nile virus, malaria and others. Because mosquitos need water to start their life cycle, making sure there is no standing (still) water around your house is important. Check to see that you don't have items that can collect rain water, like bottles, buckets, unused fish ponds, old tires, and anything that can hold water. If you do have a pond, keep some mosquito eating fish, like guppies, in them. They will eat the mosquito larvae before they become adult mosquitos. To keep mosquitos out of your home, make sure the windows on your house have screens and that your screens don't have any holes in them.
The Navy Environmental & Preventive Medicine Unit helps to control the mosquito population at their facilities. You can learn more about them at their entomology (study of insects) site at www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/nepmu6/pages/entomology.html.
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