There is some interesting news coming out of Florida in regards to a species of giant mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are not new to Florida but are predicted to increase in numbers this year within the sunshine state. The proper name for this giant mosquito is Psorophora ciliata but is commonly referred to as the Gallinipper by Floridians. Last year’s tropical storms led these monster mosquitoes to lay eggs in record numbers. Those eggs are now lying in wait until this season presents the right conditions for the eggs to hatch. Researchers are predicting a record number of Gallinippers in Florida this year and this is cause for concern. Although the Gallinipper doesn’t occur in large numbers in Central or South Florida, they are set to explode this season in low lying areas particularly in areas south of Orlando, Fla.
Gallinippers are known for their enormous size that is backed by an equally painful bite. Topping out at the size of a quarter these ferocious skeeters are nearly 20 times the size of an ordinary mosquito. Those who have come face to face with the Gallinipper contend that their bite is worse than their bark because this mosquito is known to be aggressive at dinnertime. Unfortunately anytime is dinnertime for the Gallinipper because unlike other mosquitoes that feed from dusk until dawn, this one feeds throughout the day as well. The size of this giant enables it to bite through heavy clothing with ease. Even the larvae of the Gallinipper are more aggressive than that of other mosquitoes. Their larvae will feed from tadpoles and other small aquatic creatures while developing as well as feeding off the
larvae of other mosquitoes. The Gallinipper has even been shown to display cannibalistic behavior from feeding off the larvae of its own kind!
This mosquito is hard to ignore because of its sheer size and dominant features. Gallinippers have yellow scales on their thorax and shaggy hair on their back legs that resembles a zebra pattern. The Gallinipper is a floodwater mosquito. This means the mosquito lays its eggs in the moist soil of low lying areas where they can lie dormant for long periods of time until floodwaters or rain enable them to hatch. Those that are most likely to see record numbers of the Gallinipper after a large rain are Floridians who live in more rural, grassy areas that are prone to flooding are more likely to come in contact with these mosquitoes than city dwellers which is good news for beach towns and tourism.
The term Gallinipper derived from legends associated with this super-size skeeter which were sparked through Southern folktales, minstrel shows and blues songs, according to a report from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. It seems that over the past century this mosquito has become feared and thus has become the stuff of legends.
The life cycle of this mosquito is about one week. The Gallinipper has not been reported as of yet capable of spreading any mosquito-borne illness or disease onto humans. While their stay is short lived they do eat the larvae of other mosquitoes that transmit illness and disease to humans, such as West Nile virus. This proves that in the midst of a storm there still lies a rainbow
The good news here on the home front Mosquito Squad of Greenville will keep your little slice of heaven mosquito free all season. Our safe and effective mosquito control and prevention program will protect you and your family all season long. You may be so well protected that a “staycation” may be in order for this summer’s calendar! Call us today for a free quote • (864) 277 – 4299
Keith Drew, Owner
Mosquito Squad of Greenville