Most of us have studied about the life cycle of mosquitoes during basic science classes in school. This article will cover more details like: How long can mosquitoes live? how long does it take for them to grow from one stage to the other? Where do mosquitoes lay eggs? and more…
There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world, with about 170 of them can be found in the United States.
Here’s the deal – Mosquitoes don’t live very long.
In fact, the entire mosquito life cycle can be counted in days (hold on to your celebrations though). A fully developed male mosquito last less than a week, while the females can live up to a couple of months (only with ideal conditions).
The bad news is that they are extremely capable of enduring difficult conditions and have been around for over 200 million years (since the dinosaurs era!). The length of the mosquito life span and each stage varies between species and is dependent upon environmental conditions (such as the moisture and temperature).
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Adult mosquitoes have two large compound eyes, an antennae and a proboscis (elongated nose or snout) on it’s head. They also have six jointed legs and a pair of scaled wings.
Mating begins as soon as in the first few days after emerging from the cocoon, as the male mosquitoes need about a day for their reproductive parts to fully develop.
The male mosquitoes locate females by listening for the sounds of their wings and mates.
After mating, male mosquitoes can live 3 to 5 days while the females live considerably longer (depending on the temperature and moisture it’s living environment). Under ideal conditions, females may live till 1 to 2 months.
Mosquitoes don’t travel much and typically move no more than a mile from where they were hatched. They are slow fliers (about 1 mph) and can easily be blown away by wind.
Male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar while females extract blood from humans (and animals) to help develop and nourish their eggs (see this article to find out what do mosquitoes eat).
Most female mosquitoes lay eggs in batches of 50 to 100 that float together on the surface of the water like a raft. Females usually lay eggs at night and can give birth up to three times in their lifespan.
After obtaining a blood meal, the female mosquito lays eggs directly on or near water. Mosquito eggs need water to develop, hence anywhere with the water that is not likely to be disturbed for a week or two are ideal breeding grounds for them.
Typical breeding grounds for mosquitoes include: stagnant ponds with little life, water collected in tree holes, condensation found inside an old tire, rainwater collected in flower pots.
Some mosquito species also deposit their eggs on moist, soaked soil in anticipation of the next rise in water. The eggs will eventually hatch, and the whole mosquito life cycle starts again.
[May: Hence never leave standing water around your house or yard because it can (and will very likely) become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.]
Now that you know where do mosquitoes give birth, what are some of the the most common spots at home that are likely to promote breeding? Will you be taking any actions to prevent them from breeding around you? Let us know in the comment.