Bzzzz...Slap!

Hot weather is mosquito weather, and this summer ought to bring a storm of the bugs-carrying a nasty virus with them

The rains that recently drenched the East have swelled ponds and left standing water in everything from flowerpots to abandoned tires--perfect skeeter-breeding pools. That would be bad news any year, but with mosquito-borne West Nile virus beginning its fifth summer in the U.S., health officials are increasingly worried. Controlling the maddeningly efficient insects may be the only effective way to control the sometimes deadly disease. Here's what scientists know about the operation of these ingenious stinging machines.

A MOSQUITO LOCKS ONTO A POTENTIAL VICTIM...

Male mosquitoes live quite peaceably on plant nectars and juices high in sugar, but females need protein...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!