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What Do You Need to Know About Mosquitoes?

When it comes to bugs, mosquitoes are one of the most annoying pests. They pop up in spring when temperatures rise. The more you know about these bugs, the easier it will be to prevent an infestation. We’ve answered common questions about mosquitoes to help you prepare for their arrival.

Common Questions About Mosquitoes

Mosquito on plant

Where Did the Word "Mosquito" Originate?

Mosquito is a 16th century Spanish word meaning "little fly." 

Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Light?

Light disorients mosquitoes. It neither attracts nor repels them. Red and yellow outdoor lights can actually make us less visible to mosquitoes.

How Many Different Species of Mosquitoes Are There?

Mosquitoes

There are more than 3,500 known species of mosquitoes around the world. About 175 of them are found in the United States, with the Aedes aegyptiAnopheles quadrimaculatusCulex pipiens, and Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger mosquito) being among the most prominent and the most common.  

How Do Mosquitoes Bite?

Though mosquitoes bite, they don't have teeth. Female mosquitoes pierce human or animal skin with their straw-like proboscis, then extract (drink) the blood.

How Much Blood Can a Mosquito Consume?

Mosquitoes can consume up to three times their weight in blood. 

Do Male and Female Mosquitoes Bite?

Mosquito on arm

Only female mosquitoes bite. They feed on blood to help them produce and develop their eggs. Males only feed on plant nectar (as do females, when not breeding).

What Attracts Mosquitoes to Humans and Animals?

Mosquitoes love carbon dioxide. Female mosquitoes follow the smell of carbon dioxide (CO2) released from exhaled breath to locate their next blood meal.

How Many Eggs Can a Female Mosquito Lay?

Female mosquitoes can lay between 300 and 400 eggs at once. Depending on whether a female mosquito is a permanent water mosquito or a flood water mosquito, eggs are laid either in clusters (called "rafts") on the surface of still water, or in damp areas that are flooded or irrigated regularly. Mosquito eggs are tiny and can develop and hatch in as little as an inch or less of water. 

How Long Do Mosquitoes Take to Develop from Egg to Adult?

Mosquito larvae in water

Mosquito eggs need water to develop and hatch, and will hatch into larvae within the first 48 hours after conditions are optimal. Once they hatch into larvae, and then develop into pupae, it will be another week to 10 days before they emerge as adult mosquitoes and start the life cycle all over again.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Mosquito?

On average, mosquitoes live for less than two months. Male mosquitoes usually don't live for more than 10 days once they become adults, and females may live from six to eight weeks, assuming conditions are ideal. Female mosquitoes from various species lay eggs about once every three days during their lifetimes.  

Where Do Mosquitoes Go in Winter?

During the cold winter, mosquitoes hibernate. These insects are cold-blooded, and they don’t become active until temperatures reach at least 40⁰ - 50⁰ F. They thrive when temperatures reach the 80s. Some adult female mosquitoes overwinter. Other species lay their eggs to overwinter before they die. Their eggs survive winter until conditions become optimal for hatching in spring.

How Many Mosquitoes Can a Bat Eat?

Bats are known to hunt and eat flying insects of all kinds, but they have a particular preference for mosquitoes. It's been observed that a single little brown bat (Myotis) can consume up to 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour.  

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Though mosquitoes like to hang out in your yard, you don’t have to let them. Check out a few tips to keep your yard mosquito-free.

  • Remove Attractants: Make your yard unwelcoming to these pests. Eliminate standing water. Keep your vegetation and lawn trimmed to reduce potential hiding spots.
  • Create a Protective Barrier: Spraying your yard with a plant-based insecticide spray can help to keep mosquitoes away. Our Yard Bug Spray and Mosquito & Tick Killer kill mosquitoes on contact and provide residual repellency that acts as a protective barrier helping to keep pests out.
  • Spray Bugs: For one or two pesky mosquitoes, you can spray them with our Home Bug Spray, Flying Insect Killer, or Mosquito Fogger. Not only do they kill mosquitoes, they also have repellent properties.
  • Use a Bug Spray: An effective plant-based, DEET-free mosquito repellent can also help to deter mosquito activity. Our Natural Insect Repellent can help keep mosquitoes from bugging you and your family.

How do you control mosquitoes in your yard? We want to hear your tips and tricks! Leave us a comment below!

For scientifically-tested, effective mosquito control in your home that is friendly to the environment, try Maggie’s Farm pest control products. Our promise is that our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective.

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