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Mosquitos biting their way through Southern Arizona

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Mosquito

TUCSON (KVOA) - University of Arizona professor Michael Riehle said the female mosquito is to blame for those unwanted bites and said she feeds on blood to produce the next generation of mosquitos.

"When the female mosquito gets close to you, she will be able to see you, she'll land on you. She has taste receptors on her feet and she will be sensing whether you're a good host to feed on or not," said Riehle.

Professor Riehle studies a variety of mosquitos in Southern Arizona and said the reason why some people get attacked more than others is due to genetics and diet.

"They're injecting saliva into you and the saliva has different compounds to invade our immune response. It's got anesthetic so we don't feel them biting," said Riehle.

Experts add you can thank the monsoon for the increased number of mosquitos. Heavy rains create standing water, which is a breeding ground for mosquitos.

"Mosquitos need to lay their eggs in water and the entire immature stages take about eight or nine days depending on the temperature to develop into adults," said Riehle.

News 4 Tucson Meteorologist Daniel McFarland said with the monsoon winding down, we could be getting a break from the bites.

"I think we already reached the peak of standing water season if you want to call it that, so mosquitos are going to be around right now but over the next few weeks, I'm expecting they're going to die off," said McFarland.