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.
The 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.
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!