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7 important questions about Aedes aegypti

There are over 950 species of mosquito in the genus Aedes around the world, which some species are known to be a biting nuisance and the primary vectors of many arboviral diseases that become a major threat to global health.

Aedes aegypti originated in Africa and is probably one among the hundreds of most prominent mosquito species among Aedes genus. This tiny yet aggressive mosquito is known to be the main carrier of the deadliest disease in the world by killing more than 70,0000 people around every year.

On this page, we will answer some of the common questions about Aedes aegypti mosquito which aims for a better understanding of its appearance, habits and proactive steps you can take to minimize the risk of any diseases transmitted by mosquito.

Click one of the questions below and be taken to the answer.

If you think you have mosquito infestation, contact Rentokil today for advice and to schedule a mosquito inspection at your place of residence or business.

1. What is the life cycle of an Aedes aegypti?

daur hidup nyamuk aedes aegypti

Aedes aegypti is a holometabolous insect, meaning they go through a complete metamorphosis that includes both aquatic and terrestrial phases in four distinct stages:

  • Eggs
  • Larva
  • Pupa
  • Adult

Aedes aegypti requires standing water to complete their life cycle. The entire process of the Aedes aegypti life cycle is quite rapid, it only takes approximately 6-8 days from egg to adult.

Eggs

After the female mosquito eats a blood meal, they will lay eggs at varying distances above the water surface. Female mosquitoes generally lay about 30-300 eggs at one time. Under the optimal condition, the Aedes mosquito eggs will hatch into larvae within 24 - 48 hours.

Larva

Mosquito larvae or also known as “wigglers” live almost exclusively in aquatic environments, they wiggle around below the water surface and feed on microbes in the water. Larvae will molt as much as three or four times before becoming pupae, and growing larger about 0.5 - 0.75 inches after each molt. It takes 3 - 4 days for the larva to develop into a pupa.

Pupa

During this stage, pupae will float above the surface of the water and begin to transform into an adult mosquito form that emerges from the pupal skin within 1 - 4 days depending on the water temperature.

Adult

After adult mosquitoes emerge, all adult mosquitoes feed on nectar and other plant juices to get sugar supply, and provide enough nourishment for both males and females to live.

What distinguishes male and female mosquitoes are the needs of female mosquitoes on high protein material to develop their eggs. That protein can be obtained by mosquitoes by feeding on humans and animals' blood, and this has become the answer to why only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals.

2. Where does Aedes aegypti breed?

The breeding habitat of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can be at any place where clean standing water is available. They can breed in both natural and artificial man-made water-holding containers such as:

  • Water-storage tanks
  • Plastic buckets
  • Barrels
  • Vases
  • Flower pot saucers

3. How to identify Aedes aegypti mosquito?

gambar nyamuk aedes aegypti

The main physical appearance of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, including:

  • Relatively small mosquito species with size of approximately 4 - 7 mm.
  • They can be easily distinguished from other common types of mosquitoes through its distinctive black and white stripes on the thorax, abdomen, and legs.
  • Adult Aedes aegypti has white scale bands on the dorsal part of the thorax in the lyre-shape on its back.

4. Where are Aedes aegypti mosquitoes found?

In a tropical country like Indonesia, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes become more prevalent and pose a greater risk to residents. This species thrives in tropical climates, because of its ability to live in close proximity to humans and adapt year-round in warm and humid conditions.

5. When does Aedes aegypti bite?

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Unlike most common mosquito species, Aedes aegypti bites during the day or a daytime-biter. Aedes mosquitoes are most active early in the morning (1-2 hours after sunrise), and 2-3 hours in the evening before sunset.

The resting site for Aedes aegypti can be found in many places in indoor environments. During the night when they are inactive, this mosquito prefer to rest quietly in a dark place and below 1.5 m before dawn, including:

  • Interior house wall
  • Under the bed
  • Under the furniture
  • Hanging articles, such as clothes, towels and curtains

6. What is the disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti?

Aedes aegypti is widely cited as the deadliest animal in the world, due to their ability to transmit several dangerous viruses to humans through its bite. Some of the disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are including:

  • Dengue fever
  • Zika Virus
  • Chikungunya
  • Yellow fever

Dengue fever

Dengue is a viral infection which spreads through the bite of the infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. In recent years, the number of dengue fever cases has grown dramatically, and now around half of the world’s population is now at risk.

A dengue fever is usually found in tropical, and subtropical climates, and is present in urban and semi-urban areas, where both human and mosquito activity is high.

Dengue fever symptoms usually begin 3 to 14 days after infection and include:

  • High fever
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Mild bleeding from nose and gums

Zika virus

The Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus, where primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito of the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti.

In 2015-2016, an outbreak of Zika virus infections began in Brazil and widespread to other countries in South America, Central America, North America, and the Caribbean.

The most common symptoms of Zika are include:

  • Skin rashes
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headaches Fever

Chikungunya

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary mosquito vector to the viral Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) which is responsible for the Chikungunya epidemics throughout Southeast Asia and Africa.

Common symptoms of chikungunya infection include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Severe joint pain for several weeks
  • Skin rash
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Most patients recover, but in some cases, the symptoms can be severe and disabling.

Yellow fever

The yellow fever virus is another disease spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the yellow in the name refers to the jaundice effect some patients inhabit. According to the latest data by CDC in 2018, this mosquito-borne disease causes 30,000 deaths worldwide each year, with 90 % occurring in Africa.

Yellow fever is an epidemic in tropical areas, with the number of cases increasing over the past two decades due to deforestation, urbanisation, population movements and climate change.

The symptoms of yellow fever occur 3 to 6 days after transmission. Most cases only cause a mild infection expressing flu like symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Back Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

7. How to prevent Aedes aegypti?

There are some practical steps you can do as preventive measures to minimise Aedes aegypti population as well as to avoid their bites:

  • Install a mosquito net on windows
  • Remove standing water from your property
  • Apply and use insect repellent
  • Covering your exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved clothing (especially during the outdoor activity)
  • Use fans or air conditioner to circulate air around rooms

Learn more about the complete ways to keep mosquito away from the house here

Rentokil Pest Control get rid of Aedes aegypti mosquito

Over 50 years, Rentokil has been the expert in mosquito control services throughout Indonesia. If you are worried about the Aedes aegypti mosquito around your property, contact us now to schedule a visit from one of our mosquito control specialists to assess your property and discuss treatment options.