Few animals on Earth evoke the antipathy that mosquitoes do. Their itchy, irritating bites and nearly ubiquitous presence can ruin a backyard barbecue or a hike in the woods. They have an uncanny ability to sense our murderous intentions, taking flight and disappearing milliseconds before a fatal swat. And in our bedrooms, the persistent, whiny hum of their buzzing wings can wake the soundest of sleepers.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water sources such as storm drains, old tires, children’s wading pools and birdbaths. They are one of the best known and most detested summer pests. Female mosquitoes bite humans and feed on our blood, leaving behind welts and itching bite sites. Mosquito-borne diseases in the United States are on the rise, including chikungunya, encephalitis, and most notably, the potentially fatal West Nile Virus.