(Culex pipiens and Aedes sp.)
Mosquitoes can be found all over the world. The types that occur at our latitudes are approximately 5 to 10 mm in size and are an inconspicuous brownish-grey colour. The larvae develop in water. Most mosquitoes of the Aedes genus therefore belong to the floodwater mosquito family (except Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, which is a “container breeder” and lays its eggs in extremely small pools of water). They lay their eggs on the damp ground and can be found on the floodplains of rivers. Culex pipiens, on the other hand, lays its eggs on the surface of water, meaning that open water butts, gutters, ponds and puddles, for example, provide breeding grounds for these mosquitoes. Females require blood meals for reproduction, which they get by biting humans and animals.
Mosquito bites cause very unpleasant itching. In addition to this, the distinctive noises that they make when they fly can be very annoying. Mosquito bites transmit serious illnesses, particularly in tropical countries.
However, lots of different types of mosquitoes from the tropics and subtropics have successfully settled in Germany. This includes, for example, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which originated from the subtropics and tropics of Asia. They can be very dangerous as vectors of viruses, such as the Zika virus, the Chikungunya virus and the Dengue virus, and also of the illnesses caused in humans by these pathogens. The Asian tiger mosquito has managed to spread across southern Europe to the north and has become familiar at our colder latitudes. This was possible as mosquitoes which are found in cold or dry areas are able to develop what are known as diapause eggs. Diapause eggs can endure months of drought and cold weather and only enter the development cycle again when the environmental factors around them improve and they come into contact with water. This means that the Asian tiger mosquito can hibernate here in Germany.
If you avoid having open bodies of water (e.g. open water butts) which could serve as breeding grounds for the mosquitoes, then this could reduce infestations under some circumstances. It is possible to combat the larvae with bacteria-based preparations (Bti). This method is now used extensively and successfully and can also be applied in private gardens. At the times when mosquitoes are particularly active (in the evening), you should wear special skin protection products (repellents) to avoid bites.