Along with beach-bound vacationers, the state of Florida will likely be home to hoards of mammoth mosquitoes this spring and summer. Psorophora ciliata, appropriately nicknamed the American Giant Mosquito, will likely be pestering Floridians in large numbers after countless eggs were laid during Tropical Storm Debby last June.
The hairy-legged creatures are said to be bigger than a dime but smaller than a quarter. Insect experts are expecting the Sunshine State’s mosquito population to explode when the next storm wets the ground. Although many news outlets have reported the anticipated Psorophora ciliata population rise as an invasion, the mosquito occurs naturally in Florida. These mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in pastureland and areas where rain collects.
“It’s still going to be partially weather dependent,” said Nancy Troyano, PhD, BCE Training Manager/Entomologist at Rentokil North American Pest Control. “In general, Florida has been seeing less of these mosquitoes in recent years because of the rate which pastureland is being developed.”
American Giant Mosquitoes are known for their painful bites and are capable of biting through clothes and fur. The blood-sucking pest finds their targets by detecting carbon dioxide in the breath of humans and heat permeating from our bodies. Psorophora ciliata bite into their hosts using a saw-like mechanism in their mouths that drills into the skin. The painful aspect of their bite occurs when the pest releases the mechanism.
Fortunately, these mega mosquitoes do not carry diseases like some smaller mosquito species. Regionally, the aggressive bugs are referred to as ‘gallinippers’ and have been referenced in folk and blues songs for decades. Scientists have even found that the nasty insects can even be cannibalistic. Psorophora ciliata larvae have been documented feeding on each other as well as frog tadpoles.
“One thing that’s very interesting about these giant mosquitoes is that they are aggressive biters,” said Troyano. “Usually mosquitoes that are biters of man are what we called crepuscular, meaning they come out at dawn or at dusk to bite you. What makes this species of mosquito special is that they will land on you any time of the day and bite you. Luckily, Psorophora ciliata mostly bite horses and cattle due to their preference for living in pasture, and just incidentally bite humans.” ”
If you are in need of mosquito pest control service, Ehrlich will reduce mosquitoes by creating a barrier around your home or building to keep out mosquitoes. For more information on our mosquito-related services, click here.
What You Need To Know About The Great American Mosquito (Psorophora ciliata)
- One of the largest mosquitoes in U.S.
- Largest in FL
- Wingspan around a quarter of an inch and impressive when they land on humans
- Painful bite
- Aggressive biters- bite any time of day
- 1-2 mile flight range
- Flood water/ new water mosquito
- Lays eggs on damp, flood prone ground –particularly damp soil with grassy overgrowth like in pastures
- Overall have seen less of these mosquitoes as pastureland gets developed
- NOT a known disease carrier
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