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Mosquito Life Cycle

There are about 175 mosquito species in the United States, with more than 3,000 species worldwide. These pests know how to bug you, and unfortunately, they can be a difficult pest to control. Understanding the mosquito life cycle can help you manage these pests in your yard. We’ve gathered information about their life cycle to help you prevent and eliminate an infestation.  

Where Do Mosquitoes Breed?

Mosquito Breeding Area

Mosquitoes prefer to live in warm and hot climates. When temperatures reach 50°F or higher, mosquitoes become active and start breeding. These pests lay eggs in standing water. Lakes, ponds, puddles, and items filled with water can be potential breeding spots. Mosquitoes also like to spend time in tall grass and overgrown vegetation. These pests are adaptable and can be found throughout the United States.

Permanent Water vs. Floodwater Habitats

Mosquitoes need standing water to lay eggs, but different species live in different habitats. These insects are typically classified into two types: permanent water mosquitoes and floodwater mosquitoes. Permanent water mosquitoes lay eggs in standing bodies of water such as marshes and ponds. Floodwater mosquitoes lay eggs in places where water can collect. This includes something as small as a bottle cap of water or damp soil that will flood when it rains. Their eggs remain dormant in dry conditions. Once it rains, the eggs will hatch.

Mosquito Life Cycle

Though mosquitoes have their preferred breeding spot, they all develop through a four-stage metamorphosis. This includes the egg, larval, pupal, and adult stage.  

  • Egg: Eggs are tiny and hatch into larvae when exposed to water. They usually hatch within 48 hours.  
  • Larva: Larvae live and develop in water, molting several times. This stage lasts for up to two weeks.
  • Pupa: Pupae remain in water until adulthood. They don’t feed. They remain in the pupal stage for a few days.
  • Adult: After the pupal stage, mosquitoes develop into adults. Male mosquitoes live for about a week. Female mosquitoes live for a few weeks up to several months.

When mosquitoes are in an environment with the right temperatures and water sources, it will take about two weeks to complete their life cycle.



Mosquito Eggs

Female mosquitoes breed and lay eggs after a blood meal. Depending on the species, they lay eggs one at a time or in clusters known as rafts. Mosquitoes can lay 300 eggs at one time. These pests lay eggs on the surface of still water, along the shore, or in soil that is likely to be flooded from rain. Mosquito eggs often overwinter. When temperatures rise in spring and they receive water, eggs will hatch.

Mosquito Larvae

The larval stage begins after a mosquito egg hatches. They have a wormlike appearance. Most mosquito larvae live close to the surface of the water, hanging upside down. This is how they receive air to breathe and feed off microorganisms. Larvae go through four molting stages known as instars.

Mosquito Pupae

Mosquito pupae are shaped like a comma. They don’t eat while in the pupal stage. They hang out at the surface of the water so they can breathe. At this stage, mosquitoes are physically active and sensitive to light. When disturbed, they tumble away from a perceived threat. Adults will emerge from the pupal case when fully developed.

Adult Mosquitoes

Male mosquitoes typically emerge first and stay near the breeding site. Once females emerge mating occurs. Male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar and only live about a week. Female mosquitoes live longer and feed on the blood of humans and animals. This blood meal allows them to produce eggs. Female mosquitoes locate hosts by the carbon dioxide released while breathing. Some females will lay eggs once during their life, and others lay eggs several times throughout their life.

Mosquito Life Cycle

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

When pesky mosquitoes take over your space, you want to act quickly. Check out a few tips to help keep your yard free of mosquitoes.

  • Minimize Moisture: One of the best ways to keep mosquitoes away is to eliminate standing water. Check for leaky spigots and hoses. Keep your gutters clean to avoid moisture build-up. Examine your yard for spots where water can collect.
  • Spot Treat: You can use an effective plant-based insecticide spray to spot treat these pests. Our Home Bug Spray, Flying Insect Killer, and Mosquito Fogger kill mosquitoes on contact and have repellent properties.
  • Spray Your Yard: Spraying your yard can help to prevent and eliminate a mosquito infestation. Our Mosquito & Tick Killer and Yard Bug Spray kill mosquitoes on contact and provide residual repellency. This acts as a barrier helping to keep pests out.
  • Use a Bug Spray: An effective plant-based and DEET-free mosquito repellent, like our Natural Insect Repellent, can help you keep mosquitoes away from you and your family. It repels mosquitoes, flies, and ticks.

Stopping an infestation before it happens can save you the headache of dealing with mosquitoes. Since these pests spend so much of their life near water, it’s important to minimize moisture. If mosquitoes have invaded, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.

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