Are you looking to learn mosquitoes and how long they live?
Perhaps with an eye toward eliminating or driving the little pests away?
Well then, you’re in the right place!
In this guide you’ll learn:
- Why its important to understand each stage of the mosquito life cycle
- How to kill mosquito during each stage of their life span
- Some notes about their preferred food source
- And much more!
Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
Table of Contents
One of the most distinctive, not to mention, annoying, sounds in the world is the high-pitched whine of a mosquito flying around your head. Just reading that description of it has probably triggered a memory of the sound in your mind. Can you hear it? Sure you can. The only thing worse than hearing it in your imagination is hearing it in your backyard when you’re trying to enjoy yourself.
Mosquito bites are annoying in and of themselves, but mankind has also known for a long time that mosquitoes carry diseases. That means the itching from a mosquito bite could be a harbinger of worst things to come.
Today we’re going to take a look at how the little monsters live, their life cycle, where they like to live, how to “clear the swamp”, and take some other preventative measures to eliminate them before they get out of hand.
There’s a lot of information to cover, so let’s get started!
What Is This Mosquito Life Cycle?
You can’t really talk about the life cycle of mosquitoes without also talking about their habitat, so let’s do that first.
First, Mosquitoes And Water
Mosquitoes like water, specifically, they like stale stagnant water that is turning green around the edges. Standing puddles of water in the yard or your neighbor’s yard could be a perfect breeding ground for them.
Wading pools that haven’t been emptied frequently can turn into a mosquito hatchery faster than you’d believe. The same thing applies to birdbaths that don’t have constantly running water in them. Clogged gutters on your house – out of sight and out of mind – are prime locations for mosquitoes to breed in.
Mosquitoes react to rapidly running water the way Dracula reacts to sunlight. Moving water is hazardous to their eggs and larva. It also interferes with the growth of their main food source during that stage of their life – algae.
Mosquitoes go through four stages in their life cycle and three of them require standing stagnant water. Anywhere that meets that requirement will sustain them.
Mosquitoes have four stages to their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The adults are obvious – they’re the ones whining in your ear trying to bite you. The other stages, not so much.
Mosquitoes that have hatched are known as larva.
Mosquito larva are also called wigglers because that’s how they swim.
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Stage 1: Mosquito Eggs
Mosquito eggs are often laid in areas subject to periodic flooding. The female lays the eggs above the normal waterline where they remain until one of the periodic floods covers them with water, then they hatch out and add their numbers to the ones already hatching normally. By the way, those eggs can survive for several years waiting for a flood.
Most mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. The females can lay up to two hundred eggs at a time, all of which will hatch within 24-48 hours. This is why wading pools have to be emptied the moment they’re not being used anymore. Otherwise, mosquitoes could be hatching in it over the weekend.
Stage 2: Mosquito Larva
Mosquitoes that have hatched are known as larva. Mosquito larva are also called wigglers because that’s how they swim. They swim around in the water feeding on microscopic bacteria and go through four growth stages (called instars) getting bigger each time. During this time they must have air to breathe.
Read Also: How to kill mosquito larvae?
Stage 3: Mosquito Pupa
The next stage is the pupa or tumbler. This is a transitional stage where they are molting into a fully formed adult. They don’t eat during this stage. They merely tumble in the water around to avoid predators. Within 24-48 an adult will emerge and fly away.
Stage 4: Adult Mosquitoes
Male mosquitoes only live for a week or so. Once they mate with the female they die. The female lives for four to five weeks after that, laying multiple batches of eggs. The females are the ones that are flying around your head and biting you. From beginning to end the whole process takes about 7-10 days.
Mosquitoes prefer to nest in tall grass, shrubs, and low hanging tree branches. If you have any of those in your yard, the adult mosquitoes will rest there at night or between feedings.
Mosquito Food Sources To Note
The adult male mosquitoes need sweet sugary fluids and nectar to eat. Wide flat lawns with nothing but grass are basically a desert to them. They’ll have to go somewhere else to find their food.
Strangely enough, the females need the same thing. It’s only after they mate that they need protein to begin laying eggs. Unfortunately, you already know where they get the protein from – your blood. Wherever you are, they are.
Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.
– Christie Todd Whitman
Final Thoughts On The Mosquito Lifespan
Mosquitoes live about five to six weeks during the warm part of the summer, but they can survive any time of year when the weather is warm enough.
In other words, they’re not a seasonal pest. If you live in the southern part of the United States, you could see, and hear, mosquitoes 365 days a year. Keeping them away from you and your property will be a nonstop occupation.