Insects who will be happy to suck your blood

Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus

The Asian tiger mosquito or forest day mosquito, from the mosquito family Culicidae, is characterized by its black and white striped legs, and small black and white body.Aedes albopictus is a competent vector of many viruses including dengue fever (CDC 2001) and Eastern equine encephalitis virus (Mitchell et al. 1992). Its life cycle is closely associated with human habitat, and it breeds in containers with standing water, often tires or other containers. It is a daytime feeder and can be found in shady areas where it rests in shrubs near the ground (Koehler and Castner 1997). Aedes albopictus feeding peaks in the early morning and late afternoon; it is an opportunistic and aggressive biter with a wide host range including man, domestic and wild animals (Hawley 1988).

The infestation and subsequent establishment of Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, into the Americas is one of the most significant public health events that has occurred since Ae. aegypti and Anopheles gambiae invaded this region.

Black salt marsh mosquito,  Aedes taeniorhynchus

The black salt marsh mosquito is a severe biter of man and livestock along the southern coasts from North Carolina to Florida and in the Caribbean. Unchecked populations can have a major economic impact. While capable of transmitting eastern equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis in the laboratory, it is not a major vector of these diseases in nature. It is, however, an important natural vector of dog heartworm and Venezuelan equine encephalitis.

Generally very dark, black in color; bands of white scales across the upper sides of abdominal segments, in the center of the proboscis and five on each leg.

Bed bug, Cimex lectularius

Bed bugs are increasingly becoming a problem within residences of all kinds, including homes, apartments, hotels, cruise ships, dormitories and shelters
Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs and their relatives have evolved as nest parasites. Certain kinds inhabit bird nests and bat roosts and await the return of their hosts; others have adapted well to living in the ‘nests’ (homes) of people.

Their color ranges from nearly white (just after molting) or a light tan to a deep brown or burnt orange. The host’s blood may appear as a dark red or black mass within the bug’s body. Because they never develop wings, bed bugs cannot fly

Bloodsucking conenose, Triatoma sanguisuga

This species is found in North America in most states including South Carolina and Georgia and is also found in South America.

Most members of the assassin bug family are considered to be beneficial because they eat insect pests in the garden. The Eastern Blood-sucking Conenose is an exception, however. True to its name, it feeds on the blood of mammals. The insects cannot often sneak up on alert humans, preferring to attack when their victims are asleep. They tend to live in the nooks and crannies of thatched roof shacks and feed at night, hence another common name: Big Bed Bug. These bugs are indeed large, measuring almost one inch in length. Their bite can cause severe reactions in some people and they are capable of transmitting dangerous parasitic diseases.
The nymph shown below looks like it is a tan color, but it is really closer to the adult’s color. It is covered with a fine coating of sand and dust, providing excellent camouflage amongst the rocks in which it was found.

Deer fly, Chrysops  spp.

Chrysops callidus are 7-9 mm long and have mid dorsal yellow, triangular patches on the abdomen, and there are large yellow spots on the sides of the abdomen near the base. The wings have brown markings. These flies are active from spring to fall.
Their bite can be extremely painful, and resulting allergic reaction from the saliva of the fly can result in further discomfort and health concerns. Pain and itch are the most common symptoms, but more significant allergic reactions can develop.

They are often found in damp environments, such as wetlands or forests. They lay clusters of shiny black eggs on the leaves of small plants by water. The aquatic larvae feed on small insects and pupate in the mud at the edge of the water.

Stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans

Stomoxys calcitrans is presently distributed worldwide, and was introduced into North America from Europe during the 1700’s.

Stable flies bite livestock, domestic animals and man, but unlike horn flies remain on their hosts only when attempting to feed. Adults average about 8 mm long and are about the size of a large housefly. They are gray in colour with 4 dark stripes on the thorax and several dark spots on the top of the abdomen . Like the horn fly the mouthparts are visibly extended forwards from the head as a long slender piercing proboscis. However, the palps are much shorter, less than 1/3 the length of the proboscis

Head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis

The head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) is an obligate ectoparasite of humans.Head lice are wingless insects spending their entire life on human scalp and feeding exclusively on human blood.Humans are the only known host of this specific parasite, but many other species of lice are known which infest most orders of mammals and also birds

The head louse differs from the related body louse in prefering to attach eggs to scalp hair rather than to clothing. Although the two species are visually identical, they do not interbreed in the wild, although they will interbreed in laboratory conditions. From genetic studies of them, they are thought to have diverged as species about 107,000 years ago, when many humans began to wear a significant amount of clothes.

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5 Responses to “Insects who will be happy to suck your blood”

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