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When we think about outdoor pests like mosquitoes and ticks we often think that most bites are harmless, annoying and itchy but harmless.   Well, not the bite of the Lone Star Tick, which can leave you with a severe allergy to red meat.  It sounds crazy but it's true and the ticks are starting to migrate across the northern US. 

While mosquitoes acquire dengue viruses from people when they feed on blood, the insects can also infect each other, a recent study finds. 

Under normal conditions, when mosquito and host populations are robust, dengue is transmitted in a cycle from mosquitoes to human hosts and back to new mosquitoes, which keeps the virus in circulation.

Source: Daily Journal Online

After Hurricane Florence, reports started rolling in of “giant mosquito” sightings – and bitings – throughout North Carolina. What’s going on with these mega mosquitoes that can be as big as a quarter?

As a mosquito biologist, I often get asked to identify a mosquito based upon someone’s verbal report of the little buggers. I usually do OK with an educated guess based on descriptions like “It had striped legs, and was brown” or “It looked kind of purple.”

What I have always struggled with is when someone says “It was little” or “It was pretty big.” For the most part, size is not a good identifying feature of the common mosquitoes Americans encounter close to home.

This is because you can grow relatively large mosquitoes or small ones just depending on the conditions where they grow up – what entomologists call their larval environment. If the larval environment has few other competing mosquitoes, or is rich in nutrients, or has a cool temperature, the result is larger adult mosquitoes.

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