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 an influx in these pests.
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.
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.
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!