mosquito

Mosquito Life Cycle

Like many pests, they have a life cycle that involves multiple stages of development. Each stage of that cycle may require a different strategy of pest control. Knowing the stages of a mosquito’s life cycle will help identify when to apply control, how to apply control, and in what form the pest control should be applied.

A mosquito’s life cycle varies between species and is reliant on conditions in the environment. Varying levels of humidity, temperature, and moisture are big factors in providing favorable breeding and living conditions for mosquitoes. The higher the levels, the more likely the number of mosquitoes that are produced.

Regardless of the conditions and species, one thing is constant among them all and that is  the life cycle of all mosquitoes is comprised of the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages.

  • Egg – hatches when exposed to water.
  • Larva – lives in water and molts several times.
  • Pupa – stage just before emerging as adult.
  • Adult – can fly and leaves the water.

What are the 4 stages of the mosquito life cycle?

Mosquitoes need water to deposit their eggs. Stagnant water such as ponds, marshes and swamps provide the perfect nest for mosquito eggs. The calm water of a pond or puddle makes for a nicely made bed in which the mosquito eggs hatch and grow.

  • Eggs are laid one at a time and are often attached together to form a raft.
  • Eggs are very hardy and can survive drying out for up to eight months.
  • A mosquito can produce anywhere from 100-300 eggs at a time and as many as 3,000 eggs throughout their life span.
  • From a few days to several months after being laid in water, the eggs hatch and quickly develop into the next stage of their life cycle, larva.
  • Female mosquitoes need protein to develop and nourish their eggs, that is why they seek out blood hosts.

Once the eggs hatch, the larvae grow to approximately 5 mm in length. Often called ‘Wigglers’ the larvae look like a small hairy worm that wiggles around just under the surface of the water as a form of transportation. At this stage, mosquitoes don’t have wings, or arms or legs for that matter, so they wiggle.

  • Even though the larvae are submerged under the water, they must breathe through air tubes (like a snorkel).
  • In order to grow into the larva stage, the mosquito eggs must be submerged in water. This is an important note when it comes to remediating mosquitoes from around your home.
  • During the larval stage, the larvae feed on micro-organisms and organic matter by filtering small particles from the water.
  • Mosquitoes shed their skin four times during their larval stage. With each molt, the larvae grows larger.
  • After about 7-14 days in the larval stage the larvae changes into a pupa.

After a week or two at the larva stage, pupae begin to emerge at the surface of the breeding site where they continue to grow for another 1-4 days before becoming adults. It is at this time when the new adult stands upon the water and dries its wings to prepare for flight.

  • Pupae develop inside a case (like an eggshell).
  • During this stage, pupae do not eat, but don’t confuse them for being dormant.

mosquitoThe fully developed adult mosquito is now ready to fly from the watery nest that has been it’s home the past couple of weeks. The male mosquito seeks nectar for its food preference, but the female needs blood. Why? Because it is now time to start this process all over again and blood provides the protein to develop and feed new families of mosquitoes. After feeding, female mosquitoes will look for water sources to lay more eggs.

At which stage of the life cycle is it best to eradicate mosquitoes?

A single female mosquito can produce from 100-300 eggs at a time and as many as 3,000 eggs in a lifetime. The mosquito is only in the egg stage of their life cycle for a day or two before they develop into the next stage of their life cycle, larva. You need to remove the breeding environment before they start laying eggs.

The #1 thing you can do to stop mosquitoes is to stop them before they can become a problem.

Mosquitoes need water to reproduce and as such you must pay close attention to the water sources around your yard and home. Remove standing water, drain water and fill low areas, treat pools and ponds, and clean out gutters is a great start to controlling mosquito breeding.

The most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes is to arrange specialized treatments that get rid of mosquitoes during ALL their life stages. Sigma Pest Control knows how much you enjoy your mosquito free summer, and our fully trained, licensed pest control professionals will see to it that you get the best mosquito control program available.

How do I get rid of mosquitoes?

Do it yourself mosquito control doesn’t kill mosquitoes. Repellents like citronella, smoke, lavender, and oils keep the mosquitoes at bay, but it won’t kill them it will only make the space around you undesirable. The DIY method, in cooperation with a professionally monitored mosquito control plan, will provide the best chance for a mosquito free summer.

Here are some simple “Do It Yourself” tips that will keep your yard from mosquito infestation:

  • Stalk ornamental pools with fish or aerate them
  • Remove anything that can hold water such as buckets, containers, pots, cans, etc.
  • Keep any wheelbarrows turned over and clean out water in birdbaths often
  • Insert holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling bins
  • Get rid of tires that may be holding water
  • Change pet water dishes frequently
  • Keep lawns short
  • Regularly clean your gutters
  • Make sure to routinely clean and chlorinate swimming pools and wipe water off pool covers

The last word ...

It’s never too late to implement a mosquito control plan. Even if it is the middle of summer, Sigma Pest Control can treat the area around your home to kill and ward off existing mosquitoes, while at the same time prepare a barrier against next year’s mosquito infestation.

With our Mosquito and Tick Program, we will perform service to your yard every month, April through October ($89/month). Mosquitoes are not very strong flyers, and need to land and harbor every 10 feet, or so. What we do is eliminate the ability for mosquitoes (and ticks) to grow and reproduce in those areas.

Call 540-94-SIGMA and get started on taking back your yard this summer!

mosquito

How to Defend Your Property Against Mosquitoes

This time of year, mosquitoes seem to be everywhere. They are in your home, your yard, and even in your car when you are driving to work in the morning. You can’t have a picnic without them showing up. You can’t even sleep in your bed at night without waking to a couple of new bites. They are pests, through and through.

Despite the global hatred for those flying blood suckers, like all creatures, mosquitoes have a purpose. They are a food source for many animals on our planet.

Mosquito larvae and adults are an important part of the food chain for animals. Because mosquitoes lay eggs in water, their larvae become food for aquatic animals like fish and frogs. Adult mosquitoes are a nutritious food source for bats, spiders, dragonflies, and birds.

A food source for some, and a major pest for others, a mosquito’s role on the bottom of the food chain makes them essential for wildlife survival, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to CONTROL them.

mosquito control
mosquito control

The #1 thing you can do to stop mosquitoes …

stop them before they can become a problem

Most people believe summer is the start of mosquito season, but it actually begins as soon as the spring temperatures reach 50 degrees or warmer. That is when their mating begins and their eggs hatch. As the summer temperatures rise, so does mosquito breeding. More eggs equal more mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes develop from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days (depending on the temperature). Females lay hundreds of eggs, which hatch within 48 hours, and adults begin breeding within 2 days of taking flight. The result in mosquito populations that increase quickly in favorable conditions.

Before too long, you have a mosquito control issue rather than a mosquito free summer.

Sigma gets rid of mosquitoes

The most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes is to arrange specialized treatments that get rid of mosquitoes during ALL their life stages. Sigma Pest Control knows how much you enjoy your mosquito free summer, and our fully trained, licensed pest control professionals will see to it that you get the best mosquito control program available.

Common mosquito prevention tips

It is never too late to control mosquitoes, even if it’s the middle of summer. Just because you didn’t get the jump on them before summer arrived, doesn’t mean you should just sit back and let nature takes its course.  

If you have a mosquito problem, Sigma Pest Control suggest you start on a mosquito control plan right away. And for those of you that think you’ve started too late, there are things you can do that greatly reduce the risk of mosquitoes around your property. Here are some easy to follow prevention tips:

swimming pool mosquito prevention

Swimming Pools

Mosquitoes lay their eggs water (any amount of water), including swimming pools. If you have a pool, even one you don’t regularly use, be sure that you are keeping up with the water treatment schedule and that all filters are working properly, make sure you keep the water circulating correctly. Even small kiddie pools are a target so replace the water frequently.

ponds and mosquito control

Ponds & Water Features

Ponds, bird baths, fountains, and other types of water features provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Trim any weeds that may spring up around the edges and consider adding minnows to the water because they feed on mosquito larvae and can help control their population.

Remove Standing Water

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in and around standing water. Eliminating sources of stagnant water around your property is one of the most effective measures of helping to prevent mosquitoes in your yard. Common areas for standing water include buckets, old tires, bird baths, trash can lids and tarps that may allow water to accumulate.

standing water mosquito control

Drain Water & Fill Low Areas

After a hard rain, make sure the water is draining away from the house and that it doesn’t accumulate or backup to form puddles. Fill those low-lying areas with dirt and make sure you have proper drainage. Around downspouts is another popular place for water to accumulate. Make sure the water doesn’t collect in those areas.

gutter mosquito control

Clean Out Gutters

Gutters can easily get clogged with leaves. Those clogged areas become sources of pooling rain water and moisture. Keep your gutters free of leaves so these tiny pockets of water don’t swan your next mosquito infestation. Remember, mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as one inch of stagnant water.

Project Yourself

Following these do-it-yourself mosquito prevention tips can be helpful in preventing mosquitoes from breeding and spreading, but when you are outdoors you should also take steps to prevent mosquito bites.

  • Avoid being outside during dawn and dusk, when many species of mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long pants, sleeved shirts, and even gloves when working in the yard.
  • Apply a mosquito repellent.

Mosquito control for the entire season

It’s never too late to implement a mosquito control plan. Even if it is the middle of summer, Sigma Pest Control can treat the area around your home to kill and ward off existing mosquitoes, while at the same time prepare a barrier against next year’s mosquito infestation.

With our Mosquito and Tick Program, we will perform service to your yard every month, April through October ($89/month). Mosquitoes are not very strong flyers, and need to land and harbor every 10 feet, or so. What we do is eliminate the ability for mosquitoes (and ticks) to grow and reproduce in those areas.

Call 540-94-SIGMA and get started on taking back your yard this summer!

mosquito

Mosquitoes – where do they come from?

There are two main ingredients needed to produce mosquitoes: water + warm weather. If you have those two items in or around your home, then you will most likely experience mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes need water to deposit their eggs. Stagnant water such as ponds, marshes and swamps provide the perfect nest for mosquito eggs. The calm water of a pond or puddle makes for a nicely made bed in which the mosquito eggs hatch and grow.

Water is also a food source while mosquitoes are in their aquatic stages. Mosquitoes feed on the many kinds of particulate matter that live in water.

There is also a correlation between heavy rainfall and an increase in mosquitoes. With heavy rains come new opportunities for mosquitoes to multiply.

Mosquito eggs don’t normally hatch until the average daily temperature reaches 50 degrees or more. The hotter the outdoor temperature, the more quickly mosquitoes complete their growth cycle. Hot, humid environments often product more mosquitoes. Infestations can occur easily in tropical areas.

Mosquito life-cycle

The mosquito goes through four separate and distinct stages of its life cycle: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. How long each stage lasts depends on both temperature and species characteristics.

Water provides mosquitoes with a place to lay eggs, grow and develop through their water stages (egg, larval and pupal).

Eggs are laid one at a time and are often attached together to form a raft. They float on the surface of the water and usually hatch into larvae within 48 hours.

The larva lives in the water and comes to the surface to breathe (just like a whale). It molts multiple times before achieving pupal stage.

The pupal stage is a resting, non-feeding stage of development. Though considered resting, the pupa are still mobile; able to flip and tumble to reach protective areas away from the sun and predators. This is the time the mosquito changes into an adult.

The newly emerged adult rests on the surface of the water to allow its wings to dry. As an adult, and once airborne, the female mosquito returns to water to lay a bunch of fertile eggs; and the cycle starts all over again.

When are mosquitoes most active?

Most mosquitoes sleep or rest during the day and become active when the sun sets. The heat of the day makes it difficult for mosquitoes to hunt for food. They are small and dehydrate quickly. Having a water source nearby, or a shady sheltered area, gives them a chance to stay cool, eat, and save their energy for when the sun goes down.

Where do mosquitoes go in the winter?

Mosquitoes respond to winter’s cold in one of two ways. Either they spend fall gorging themselves to prepare for hibernation, or they produce winter-proofed eggs and then die.

As small and frail as mosquitoes look, they are quite resilient. They’ve been on the planet for over 46 million years, so a little cold weather isn’t about to do them in.

The male mosquito lives only 10 days, and dies after mating, and thus never make it past the fall, but the female mosquito has more options for survival.

Some species of female mosquitoes will seek out a hiding place and go dormant during the winter. Others lay a final batch of weatherized eggs that last through the winter and emerge in spring when the temperature rises.

How can I keep mosquitoes away?

Mosquito prevention revolves around depriving the pest of things they need. 

  • Eliminate standing water, which mosquitoes need to breed.
  • Unclog roof gutters.
  • Empty children’s wading pools at least once a week.
  • Change water in birdbaths at least weekly.
  • Get rid of old tires in your yard.
  • Empty outdoor flower pots regularly or store them upside down so that they can’t collect water.
  • Drain your fire pit if water collects there.

Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes can certainly be a pest, but that doesn’t mean you have to have them around all summer long.

With our Mosquito and Tick Program, we will perform service to your yard every month, April through October ($89/month). Mosquitoes are not very strong flyers, and need to land and harbor every 10 feet, or so. What we do is eliminate the ability for mosquitoes (and ticks) to grow and reproduce in those areas.

Call 540-94-SIGMA and get started on taking back your yard this summer!

mosquito and tick control
mosquito

What diseases do mosquitoes carry? … and other interesting facts.

Few animals on Earth can ruin your outdoor fun as much as a mosquito can. They land, they bite, and before you can kill them, they take flight; with your blood as a prize. Inside the home, mosquitoes have the uncanny ability to find our bedrooms, and the persistent, high pitched hum of their wings is enough to wake the soundest sleeper.

So why are they so fierce? Why do they want blood? What can you do to stop these miniature vampires? You can start by knowing the facts about mosquitoes; why they want blood, why they want YOUR blood, and how you can stop them from biting you in the first place.

Mosquito Facts

  • The average size of a mosquito is only ½ inch long.
  • Only the female mosquito bites. Mosquitoes mainly feed on fruit and plant nectar, but the female mosquito needs protein (from blood) to help her eggs mature.
  • Mosquitoes don’t have teeth. Instead, mosquitoes use their needle like nose, also called a proboscis, to extract and consume fluid. Therefore, they don’t need teeth.
  • There are over 2,500 species of mosquitoes on the planet.
  • Most male mosquitoes only live for two weeks. Female mosquitoes often live up to a month or more.
  • Female mosquitoes lay their eggs, sometimes 300 at a time, in water and soft moist soil.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. They can smell your breath!
  • Mosquitoes like beer.
  • The best time to avoid mosquitoes is in the heat of the afternoon. Mosquitoes seek cooler spaces to rest from the heat of the day.
  • Mosquitoes have existed on earth for over 260 million years.
  • Mosquitoes can spit and suck at the same time.
  • Mosquitoes can beat their wings 300-600 times per second.

Who are we kidding! There is no such thing as a mosquito ‘fun fact.’ They bite, they itch, they are a nuisance. So, let’s just skip to the next category.

Mosquitoes are vectors of many viruses and diseases transmissible to humans, livestock and pets. Because of this, mosquitoes are often perceived as a threat. When female carriers bite humans and animals to obtain blood meal, they directly transmit viruses and disease agents into the bloodstream, often causing serious health problems.

  • Mosquitoes are known to transmit illness and disease. Some of the illnesses include: malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, west nile virus, and zika.
  • Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest animal in the world because of its ability to carry and transmit disease between hosts.

Prevention

Mosquitoes have been around for over 260 million years, but that doesn’t mean you’re helpless against them. Here are some helpful tips for reducing mosquito infestation:

  • Replace all stagnant water at least once a week.
  • Remove trash from around any standing water.
  • When sleeping outdoors or in areas where mosquito populations are heavy, surround your bed with “mosquito” netting.
  • Screen windows, doors and other openings with fine mesh.
  • Avoid going outdoors at night.

The last word ...

Reclaim your yard – take back the night – invite friends over for a party and don’t worry about pesky mosquitoes getting in the way. Does this sound like a fantasy? 

Mosquitoes can certainly be a pest, but that doesn’t mean you have to have them around all summer long.

With our Mosquito and Tick Program, we will perform service to your yard every month, April through October ($89/month). Mosquitoes are not very strong flyers, and need to land and harbor every 10 feet, or so. What we do is eliminate the ability for mosquitoes (and ticks) to harbor in those areas.

Call 540-94-SIGMA and get started on taking back your yard this summer!