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Mosquitoes are small, temporarily blood-feeding insects and assumed to be a nuisance for all mammals. In fact, the name of the Anopheles species complex, the transmitters of malaria, is of the Greek origin an- = "not" and opheléo = "usable". The Latin word for mosquito, culex, gave the family its name, Culicidae. Only a small portion of the overall about 3,600 different species is believed to suck blood from humans. Female specimens require blood for their egg production. During subsequent feeding on different hosts, they might acquire pathogens and pass them on.
Mosquito-transmitted diseases are a major health issue in general and of great importance also for dogs and cats. Mosquito control with repellent efficacy to prevent bites and pathogen transmission is considered important, even in the few cases where specific preventative measures against the transmitted diseases exist.