Life Cycle of Mosquitoes
We believe it is important to educate our customers as well as provide our services. Understanding the life cycle of mosquitoes is important for understanding how to avoid them finding a home in your outdoor areas. It also helps to understand how and why our services work against each of the different life stages of mosquitoes.
Eggs - Female lays eggs in water
Larvae - Larvae ingest food particles from water
Pupae - Transitional stage
Adult - Adults emerge from Pupal stage
Female mosquitoes choose places to lay eggs based on one out of three patterns:
- Eggs laid singly on the water surface.
- Eggs glued together to form rafts which float on the water surface.
- Eggs laid singly out of water.
Aedes species deposit eggs where water will collect and are adapted to withstand dry conditions until the location is under water again. Most Aedes eggs will hatch shortly after flooding.
Larve have mouth parts which filter food particles from water and in some species they are adapted to grasp prey. For every species of mosquito water is required for this stage of development. Breeding sites of mosquitoes are as follow:
- The water is shallow, stationary, or very slow moving.
- It has a suitable food source for larvae.
- There is some protection from wind and waves.
The type of water that larvae is a characteristic of each species. Common habitats in Indiana include temporary pools caused by snow melt, rain, or stream overflow; discarded tires; bird baths; water collecting containers; storm sewer catch basins; roadside drainage ditches; tree holes; permanent ponds, marshes, and lakes with emergent vegetation.
The Pupae stage lasts 2 to 3 days and the pupae do not feed during this stage. It is a transitional stage in which mosquitoes make the transition into an adult mosquito. The adult emerges from the pupae shell and rests until it is able to fly away. This stage of development is one of the hardest to treat due to their lack of intake. However, this stage of development is so short that your treatments will attack them as soon as they finish transitioning into adults.
In most species the male emerges from the pupal stage about 24 hours before the females and stay in the vicinity until females emerge. Mating occurs within 24 to 48 hours of emergence so the majority of females in the population are fertile. Adults feed off of nectar and other plant juices, but only females take a blood meal. They utilize the protein from blood to produce eggs. In some species females acquire enough protein during the larval stage to produce eggs shortly after they emerge as adults. Depending on weather conditions and species the adult males may live from a few days to a week while females live from several weeks to several months. Mosquitoes are inactive during the day, resting in cool, humid locations to minimize moisture loss. Mosquito feeding and mating takes place through the night from dusk until just after dawn when the air temperature is above 50 degrees. Most activity occurs when temperatures are consistently over 60 degrees.