This Dangerous Mosquito Lays Her Armored Eggs – in Your House | Deep Look


From Deep Look.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can transmit dengue fever and Zika, makes a meal of us around our homes. And her eggs are hardy. They can dry out, but remain alive for months, waiting for a little water so they can hatch into squiggly larvae.

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While the efforts to end COVID-19 have upended daily life, here’s something easy you can do to fight other dangerous diseases. Go through your house and yard and eliminate breeding places for the mosquitoes that can transmit dengue fever, a painful and sometimes deadly disease that afflicts an estimated 100 million people worldwide each year.

The white-striped Aedes aegypti mosquito can also pass on the viruses that cause Zika, which can lead to birth defects, and chikungunya, another painful joint disease.

The mosquitoes lay their eggs in and around our homes and feed on humans; they’re especially attracted to ankles and the lower body.

— How do I get rid of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes?

Their eggs are small and hard to spot, especially if the mosquito lays them in a dark container like a discarded tire. So experts recommend dumping the water out of containers in and around the house once a week, to get rid of any larvae that might have hatched from the eggs before they grow into adults.

“They’re very opportunistic; they will lay their eggs in small, medium, large containers,” said Jeffrey Powell, who has studied the mosquito’s genetics at Yale. “It could be something small like a beer can that has water in it. A birdbath; a tire. In Brazil I’ve seen Aedes aegypti in the troughs people hold water in.”

— Where is the Aedes aegypti mosquito found?

Aedes aegypti live around the world in tropical, subtropical and even temperate zones. In the United States they’re in parts of California and likely to be found in a vast swath that goes from Arizona and New Mexico, through Texas and Florida and up to Virginia. In the rest of the Americas they’re found between Mexico and Argentina. They’re in sub-Saharan Africa, in parts of Europe and the Middle East, and throughout Asia and Australia.

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