Liz Waid and Colin Lowther look at the mosquito. This insect causes big problems around the world. But knowing about this insect can protect people from its dangerous bite.
Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.
And I’m Colin Lowther. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.
Do you recognize this sound? It is the small high noise of the mosquito. Mosquitoes are small insects with wings. They bite people and take blood from their bodies. When mosquitoes bite people they leave behind a small raised red area on the skin. People with mosquito bites may feel like they need to keep rubbing or scratching their skin in this area. These little insects are a problem for people and animals in many parts of the world. Today’s Spotlight is on mosquitoes. These interesting insects are a big problem.
There are over 3,000 different kinds of mosquitoes. To some people, that is a very frightening fact! Many people know how dangerous mosquitoes can be. Some mosquitoes can carry diseases. They can give these diseases to people and animals. And some of these diseases cause death.
But people can stop mosquitoes. Let’s look at the life of the mosquito. When a female mosquito is full grown, she mates with a male mosquito. Then she begins searching for a “host.” A host is a person or animal that she can land on. A mosquito can sense a host from up to 35 meters away.
Most mosquitoes do not travel very far. They usually travel less than a kilometer during their whole life. But some mosquitoes can travel far. Some mosquitoes can travel 160 kilometers in some conditions.
When the female mosquito finds a host, she bites him. Mosquitoes have a special mouth. When a mosquito bites you, it actually puts part of its mouth under your skin. The mosquito also releases chemicals into your body. These chemicals make your blood flow faster into the mosquito. These chemicals are also responsible for the red bumps that many people experience after a mosquito bite.
After a mosquito bites her host, she fills herself up with his blood. She is not eating this blood. Instead, she is storing it. This blood will be very important for her babies. They will use the protein in the blood.
Only the female mosquito bites a host for her babies. For food, mosquitoes live on nectar, or sweet liquid that comes from plants. Male mosquitoes live for only a short time after they mate. But a female mosquito can have a few groups of babies without mating again.
Mosquitoes grow through four separate periods of growth. These periods are called the egg, larva, pupa, and adult. This whole process takes about one to two weeks.
When the female mosquito is ready, she lays her eggs. Different kinds of mosquitoes lay their eggs in different places. They can lay their eggs in a small container of water. Or they can lay their eggs in large wet fields. But all mosquitoes need to lay their eggs in some kind of water.
Most eggs hatch in about two days. Then the baby mosquitoes are called larva. The larva lives in the water. During this stage, the larvae grow. They lose their skin four times. This is called “moulting.” After their fourth moult, a larva begins the pupal stage.
During the pupal stage, young mosquitoes begin to move. They float on the surface of the water. A special skin surrounds the pupa. Inside this skin, the pupa is changing into an adult mosquito. This process takes about two days. When the mosquito is completely developed the skin splits open. And the mosquito is now an adult!
The adult mosquito comes out from the water. It must rest on the water to dry. Each part of its body must become hard. After its wings have dried, the mosquito can fly. And a short time after that, the mosquito can mate. Then the females go in search of blood to make more little mosquitoes. And the process begins again!
Mosquitoes live in many areas of the world. But mosquitoes live best in a warm climate. And since they have so much contact with blood, they can be very dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry terrible viruses like west Nile, yellow fever, and malaria to humans and animals. These viruses create disease in their human hosts that can kill them. But not all mosquitoes carry deadly diseases. In fact, many mosquitoes do not carry viruses at all. However, it is difficult to know which mosquitoes are dangerous and which ones are not.
Many people try to avoid mosquitoes. But have you ever noticed that mosquitoes seem to bite some people more than others? In fact, scientists believe that about 20 percent of people are more likely to get mosquito bites than others. Scientists who study mosquitoes believe that mosquitoes are attracted to, or pulled in, because of particular chemicals that come off people’s bodies. Some people produce more of these chemicals than other people. Mosquitoes can also smell the chemicals in the air a person breathes out.
There are ways to avoid mosquitoes — to stay healthy and for your own comfort. Here are some ways to avoid, stop, or kill mosquitoes near your home.
First, do not let water sit for a long time. Mosquitoes need this still, stale water to lay their eggs. Experts say that this is the most important thing to do to avoid mosquitoes.
Second, mosquitoes usually go out more in the early morning and early night. A person can avoid mosquitoes by not going out at these times.
Third, in areas where mosquitoes are dangerous, use screens or nets over sleeping areas. These fabrics have many very small holes. The holes are big enough to let air through. But mosquitoes cannot fit through the holes. Also, nets that are treated with chemicals that kill insects are very helpful for stopping mosquitoes and malaria.
Finally, when you can, wear clothes to cover most of your skin. Following these tips can help keep you free from mosquitoes.
How do you avoid mosquitoes? Are they a problem where you live? Do they bite you? Tell us what about your experiences. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on Facebook and YouTube.
The writer of this program was Liz Waid. The producer was James Totton. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.spotlightenglish.com. This program is called “The Terrible and Interesting Mosquito”.
Visit our website to download our free official App for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!
- mosquito /məˈskitoʊ/: con muỗi
- recognize /ˈrekəɡˌnaɪz/: nhận ra
- insect /ˈɪnˌsekt/: côn trùng
- wing /wɪŋ/: cánh
- rub /rʌb/: chà xát
- scratch /skrætʃ/: gãi (ngứa)
- frightening /ˈfraɪt(ə)nɪŋ/: khủng khiếp, đáng sợ
- fact /fækt/: sự thật
- frightening fact: sự thật khủng khiếp, sự thật đáng sợ
- disease /dɪˈziz/: dịch bệnh
- mate /meɪt/: kết đôi
- host /hoʊst/: vật chủ
- land /lænd/: đậu, đáp
- sense /sens/: nhận biết
- condition /kənˈdɪʃ(ə)n/: điều kiện
- chemical /ˈkemɪk(ə)l/: chất hoá học
- flow /floʊ/: chảy
- responsible /rɪˈspɑnsəb(ə)l/: chịu trách nhiệm
- bump /bʌmp/: vết sưng
- experience /ɪkˈspɪriəns/: trải nghiệm
- protein /ˈproʊtin/: chất đạm
- nectar /ˈnektər/: mật hoa
- separate /ˈsep(ə)rət/: tách biệt
- period /ˈpɪriəd/: giai đoạn
- larva /ˈlɑrvə/: lăng quăng, bọ gậy
- larvae/ˈlɑrvi/: plural of larva
- pupa /ˈpjupə/: con nhộng
- pupae /ˈpjuː.piː/: plural of pupa
- pupal /ˈpjuː.pəl/: adjective of pupa
- lay /leɪ/: đẻ (trứng)
- container /kənˈteɪnər/: thùng
- hatch /hætʃ/: nở (ra)
- stage /steɪdʒ/: giai đoạn
- moult /moʊlt/: lột xác
- float /floʊt/: nổi
- surface /ˈsɜrfəs/: bề mặt
- surround /səˈraʊnd/: bao quanh
- process /ˈprɑses/: quá trình
- split /splɪt/: tách
- climate /ˈklaɪmət/: khí hậu
- fever /ˈfivər/: sốt, bệnh sốt
- malaria /məˈleriə/: bệnh sốt rét
- avoid /əˈvɔɪd/: tránh
- attract /əˈtrækt/: thu hút
- particular /pərˈtɪkjələr/: cụ thể
- water sit: nước đọng, nước tù
- stale /steɪl/: đục, bẩn, có mùi hôi
- expert /ˈekˌspɜrt/: chuyên gia
- screen /skrin/: màn
- net /net/: mùng
- fabric /ˈfæbrɪk/: vải (vóc)
- treat /trit/: nhúng, ngâm (hoá chất)