Itching in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Help! Blood sucking vampires are breeding next door to me and my heroes, the bat kids, turn out to be wimps.

Exhibit #1: A bat house. This is the protagonist…or so I thought until I discovered that only about 1% of a bat’s diet consists of mosquitoes. As it turns out, dragonflies are better mosquito predators.

Exhibit #2:  A swimming pool that has been unused and untreated for more than two years. This is the antagonist. Just one mosquito could use the stagnant water to breed 1200 new mosquitoes in one month.

Yikes!  Apparently, a mosquito has a short life cycle and it has to make up for its brief time in my neighborhood by breeding and breeding and breeding. Mosquitoes in my area have found a perfect spot to set up housekeeping--my neighbor's abandoned pool.

I've learned that a female mosquito can lay hundreds of eggs every three days—eggs that can become adults.

- Bloody Mary lays 300 eggs on July 1. On July 10, there are 300 new adult mosquitoes.
- Bloody Mary lays 300 eggs on July 3. On July 13, there are 300 new adult mosquitoes.
- Bloody Mary lays 300 eggs on July 6. On July 16, there are 300 new adult mosquitoes.
- Bloody Mary lays 300 eggs on July 9. On July 29, there are 300 new adult mosquitoes.

That Mama is promiscuous! She is responsible for 1200 progeny for the month of July! Okay-- let’s say that her egg production was off for the month and she only produced 200 eggs July 1 – July 9. That is still 800 new lives she started, not to mention her friends. 

And I helped--that is, my blood helped. She needed my blood for protein and iron to develop her eggs and then fertilization took place with the help of a male mosquito. To begin the life cycle of a mosquito, there needed to be a ménage à trois —she, he and me.

Her children could be monsters too. Some could carry diseases that affect people and animals—West Nile Virus, several different kinds of encephalitis, heart worm and more.

Anyone want a defunct swimming pool for your yard so you can breed your own mosquitoes?  Make an offer my neighbor can't refuse.

For more information on mosquitoes, check out these links: