Types of mosquitoes and the diseases they spread

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that major mosquito-borne diseases in the world trace back to just three primary mosquito categories: Aedes, Culex, and Anopheles mosquitoes. Learning to recognize these potentially harmful mosquitoes and distinguish between them can help prepare you to take control of mosquitoes on your property and protect your family from their threat.


Aedes mosquitoes

These include several species behind some of the world's most significant mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever. This group includes two pests of special concern: the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito. These exotic species are native to Africa and Asia, but they've expanded their range to tropical and subtropical areas around the world and brought an increased risk of diseases with them.


Culex Mosquitoes

These common mosquitoes are the primary culprits behind the transmission of West Nile virus, a disease now established in all 48 contiguous states of the U.S. They also transmit dog heartworm, Eastern equine encephalitis, and several other significant diseases.1 Culex mosquitoes occur worldwide, in all but the coldest regions. As a group, Culex mosquitoes are unremarkable, brownish pests found in rural, agricultural settings and urban areas. They feed on birds, which are the primary carriers of the West Nile virus, as well as people and other animals, including horses.


Anopheles Mosquitoes

Also known as malaria mosquitoes, this group includes the common malaria mosquito, known by the scientific name Anopheles quadrimaculatus. All mosquitoes have scales on their wings, but the scales on this thin, spindly-legged, deep brown species form four dark wing patches. Anopheles mosquitoes are the only mosquitoes that transmit the parasite that causes malaria. These pests feed on people and other animals during evening hours. They're concentrated in the Southeast, but they have spread through much of the eastern United States. Anopheles mosquitoes lay individual white eggs on the surface of standing water.

In India, around 40 million people contract mosquito-borne diseases annually. Mosquitoes are the root cause of numerous illnesses such as dengue, malaria, brain fever, yellow fever, Chikungunya, etc. These diseases can turn out to be deadly if the symptoms are not detected well on time.



Malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium. Major symptoms of Malaria are shivering, unstructured pimples on the skin, sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, muscle pain, bloody stools, etc. The body temperature might rise as high as 105 degrees F, which is accompanied by severe headaches and body aches.



Also known as backbone fever, Dengue’s symptoms include headache, high fever, muscle pain, joint pain, rashes, etc. It can further lead to excessive bleeding in severe cases, which can be life-threatening.



Symptoms of Chikungunya usually appear within a week of infection. Fever and joint pain take over the body. Muscle pain, headache, fatigue, and rash also appear in some cases. The prominent symptoms include excessive body pain, and swelling in the joints. The body pain during Chikungunya is more severe than that in dengue cases.


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