Articles on Mosquitoes

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For exposed skin, there really isn’t an alternative to topical insect repellents. LoloStock/Flickr

Chemical or natural: what’s the best way to repel mozzies?

Mosquitoes need blood to survive. And what better place to get a good meal than a slow, tasty human. Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying. Every year around 5,000 Australians get sick following a mosquito bite…
Zabibu Athumani and her son Abirai Mbaraka Sultani rest under an insecticide-treated bed net at their home. (Bagamoyo, Tanzania, 2011). Gates Foundation

Fighting malaria is going to take more than just nets

In January, the New York Times highlighted how insecticide treated nets meant to protect people from mosquitoes and malaria are now being used to haul fish in Africa. Among those using these nets to catch…
There are up to 400 chemical compounds on human skin that could play a role in attracting mosquitoes. sookie/Flickr

Health Check: why mosquitoes seem to bite some people more

There’s always one in a crowd, a sort of harbinger of the oncoming mosquito onslaught: a person mosquitoes seem to target more than others. What is it about these unlucky chosen few that makes them mosquito…
Someone didn’t put on the DEET. This is the Yellow Fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. Stephen Doggett/Pathology West - ICPMR Westmead

Sniffing out new repellents: why mozzies can’t stand the DEET

The smell of mozzie repellent is as much a part of summer as barbecues and the cricket. Despite supermarket and pharmacy shelves overflowing with insect repellents, there are actually only a few active…
The pest hides out in pot plants and rainwater tanks, and feeds on humans and pets. Clivid/Flickr

Aussie mozzie found in urban California

An Australian native mosquito has for the first time been detected in urban California, in the latest wave of mozzies hitching…
The saltmarsh mosquito, Aedes vigilax, transmits Ross River virus in many coastal regions of Australia. Mr Stephen Doggett (Medical Entomology, Pathology West - ICPMR Westmead)

Explainer: what is Ross River virus?

Ross River virus infection is the most commonly reported mosquito-borne disease in Australia, with more than 4,000 cases of illness are reported every year. Activity has been recorded from every state…
Stagnant water is found in many towns but help spread malaria. uncultured

Targeting mosquito breeding sites could help fight malaria

As a young civil engineer in the 1950s, my grandfather was posted to Khartoum in the Sudan, tasked with helping to build a new water supply, drains and sewers for the city. Over the years, this system…
Falciparum malaria parasite carried by mosquitoes might be cerebral but has it been outsmarted? PA/Danny Lawson

New twist in age-old war against malaria parasite

Cerebral malaria, or malaria of the brain, means being deeply unconscious with perpetual cycles of seizures and spasms. It can cause death, or often disability. About 600,000 people suffer this terrible…
Enjoy it while it lasts. DeGust

Fighting malaria requires new diagnostic tools

Malaria hits rural dwellers in poor countries the hardest. Those bitten by the wrong mosquito often do not know for many days that they have contracted malaria. Some have little or no access to doctors…
Not all mosquito repellents are equal. Flickr/sachman75

Aussies vs mozzies: a user’s guide to repellents

Mosquito-borne disease is a serious concern, with millions of people worldwide impacted by pathogens spread by these blood-sucking insects. In Australia, there are more than 5,000 cases of human illness…
You may never know exactly why you get bitten more than your friends. Jason Verwey

Monday’s medical myth: mosquitos prefer sweet blood

It’s quite a romantic notion that the sweetness of our blood attracts mosquitoes. But in reality, it’s probably the cocktail of stinky microbes on our skin that really draws them in. It’s hard to know…
Urban development in coastal Australia brings people closer to mosquito habitats while often also creating new wetlands. Webb, Medical Entomology

Using urban planning to reduce mosquito-borne disease

There are many ways to prevent mosquito-borne diseases – insecticides to kill mosquitoes, vaccines to prevent infection and healthy doses of insect repellent before heading off for fishing trips. But while…

How mosquitos can stand the rain

A mosquito being rained on is the equivalent in size, mass and force of a human being hit by a car, so how do they survive…

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