Mosquitoes are a pest that most people can agree are among the worst of the worst. While they aren’t as scary as spiders or cockroaches, they are the pest that spreads the most disease worldwide. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for people to ask themselves, “How long do mosquitoes live?”
The mosquito lifespan is about one to two months. During that time, the mosquito goes through four separate and distinct stages of its life cycle:
Each of these stages can be easily recognized by its special appearance. If you’ve ever wondered about the mosquito life cycle, this is the blog for you. Read more on their distinct differences below! Also, feel free to check out the mosquito lifespan infographic for more information.
Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite? This is because they need blood in order for their eggs to develop properly. So, before laying eggs, female mosquitoes ingest as much blood as possible and, once they have all the blood they need, they lay their eggs in either an area prone to flooding or water that is stagnant or slow-moving. These areas can be found in your own backyard, including gutters, ponds, and pools. After they are laid, it takes about a week for the eggs to hatch.
Interestingly, not all mosquitoes lay their eggs in the same way. Some species lay their eggs individually to scatter them around. Others lay hundreds of eggs side-by-side and stacked on top of each other in order to create a raft that will float on top of the water.
After the eggs hatch, they become larvae called wigglers or wrigglers. The larvae are small, about a ¼ inch long, have separate body sections, and resemble hairy worms. Additionally, most of them have a tube that extends from their abdomen that they use as a snorkel in order to breathe.
Generally, larvae spend their time eating and hanging upside down near the water’s surface. They typically feed on microorganisms, such as algae and fungi, and need to eat a lot in order to grow and molt up to four times. This stage of mosquito development lasts around 14 days.
At the end of their final molt, the larvae are called pupae and are about double their original size. At this stage of development, the pupae float toward the surface of the water and do not eat or molt. They do, however, dive and tumble in response to changes in light. This stage lasts between one and four days.
After the mosquitoes emerge from their pupal casings, they are considered adults. Directly after hatching, the mosquitoes create a mating swarm. After mating, males can live for an additional couple of weeks, but females can live for up to a month where they will need to feed on blood to lay their eggs and start the life cycle over again.
If you notice a lot of mosquitoes around your property, chances are that they are reproducing and developing somewhere nearby. In order to get rid of them, you need to mosquito-proof your home and call in the professionals to make sure that your mosquito problem is handled. Insight Pest Solutions can help! Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation to learn your options!