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Mosquitoes are a slender long-legged fly with aquatic larvae. They are attracted to the scent of human skin and blood. The bite may transmit a number of serious diseases.

MOSQUITOES OF FLORIDA

There are currently 80 species of mosquitoes known to occur or have been identified from various collections in Florida, more than any other state. Of these, 33 species can cause pest problems for man and/or domestic animals in all or parts of the state. Thirteen species are capable of transmitting pathogens that cause disease in humans and animals. They all vary to some extent in their individual preferences for types of blood meals, egg laying sites, time of day they will fly, temperature at which they are most active, and seasonality. Our lab at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory has developed an electronic database of Florida mosquitoes and general information about their distribution, medical importance, and habitats.

The mosquitoes that carry Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever are more common across the United States than previously believed, federal experts reported Tuesday.

Updated maps for 2016 show the Aedes aegypti mosquito in 38 counties where it wasn’t found before — a 21 percent increase, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

States especially affected include California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida and other Gulf states, the mid-Atlantic states, as well as big cities such as Chicago, where the mosquitoes keep getting brought back,

Mosquitoes spread all sorts of viruses, including West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis. Different species spread different viruses. CDC’s worried about Zika because it causes profound birth defects in babies born to women infected while they are pregnant.

So far, 1,883 pregnant women in the 50 U.S. states have been reported infected with Zika, and 80 babies have been born with birth defects or have miscarried or been aborted because of severe, Zika-related birth defects in the U.S.