How Long Can a Mosquito Live?

Last Updated: 23.10.19

 

With summer fast approaching, making preparations for mosquito season is necessary. If you are in search of a brand-new zapper for bugs, be sure to take a good look at the models that we have analyzed for you as you might find one that suits you.

In this comprehensive article, we have gathered pieces of info that can help you get a better understanding of the life cycle of mosquitoes. So, if you want to learn more on the matter, keep reading!

 

Their lifecycle

Throughout its short life, a mosquito goes through four stages: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. After sucking blood from a victim, the female mosquito lays eggs in an area that is humid or in stagnant water. Before laying eggs, the female must feed on blood because it needs the proteins. Only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood. Male mosquitoes only feed on nectar.

After approximately a week, once the eggs hatch, the larvae develop. Larvae, also known as wigglers, look very similar to hairy worms and they survive by feeding on microorganisms.

At this stage, the wigglers have already developed a siphon tube that reaches from their abdomens and that is used for breathing. Larvae spend their time hanging upside down, eating. It is important that the female mosquito lays the eggs near a water source, because, at this stage, mosquitoes feed on fungi and algae.

As larvae, mosquitoes need to eat quite a lot, because they have to molt four times before they become adults. Mosquitoes spend approximately two weeks as larvae. After their final molt, the larvae are double in size.

So, after they feed consistently, the larvae transform into pupae. This stage is quite short, as the pupae become adult mosquitos is one to four days. As pupae, mosquitoes float on the surface of the water. They do not eat, but they move continually in response to the light.

After they emerge from their casings, the pupae are officially adults. Soon after, they start mating.

Although mosquitoes have four stages of life, their life cycle is quite short in time. According to researchers, a male mosquito lives for ten days, while females live for 42 to 56 days after they have reached adulthood.

Even though they do not have a lot of fans among humans, mosquitoes do play a role in the planet’s well-being. As some research studies have shown, these insects are an important source of food for fish. Without them, the number of fish that we have available would drop significantly.

When are mosquitoes most active?

Mosquitoes are not active all throughout the year. In fact, they only make their presence noted after the temperatures reach above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are some rare species that live in cold temperatures and lay their eggs in winter. This way, the eggs are able to hatch in the spring. Other species prefer to seek protective environments during the winter, such as cellars and sewers.

Regardless of how they spend their winters, mosquitoes start appearing once the weather is warm. Because the temperatures are not the same in all the states, some areas of the country have to deal with their presence sooner than others. For instance, people in Florida get their first wave of mosquitoes sooner than those in Minnesota.  

 

Times of the day when they are active

The level of activity that mosquitoes exhibit depends on the species of mosquito that one is dealing with. While some species are more active during the day, most of them come out at night.

However, regardless of their species, all mosquitoes tend to show high levels of activity at dusk. Because of this, it is vital that you protect yourself against bites if you plan on going out at this time of the day.

 

How to protect yourself?

Given that mosquitoes lay their eggs in moist soil and in water, it is vital that you remove any still water from near or around your home. By this, we are referring to old tires filled with stale water, garbage cans, clogged gutters or dripping outdoor faucets. This way, you will not encourage the bugs to lay eggs nearby.

Additionally, it is advisable that you repair all the broken window screens in your home and that you try to keep the windows closed as much as possible, as this will prevent these insects from entering.

You can protect your room by using air conditioning and by investing in insect-proof screens that you can place on the windows and doors of your home. From time to time, you can spray the rooms with insecticide so that all insects are killed. If you decide to so do, it is vital that you also take the time to air the chemicals out before you go to sleep.

Clothing

When you go out at dusk, it is important that you wear protective clothing. By this, we are referring to long-sleeved, loose shirts and long pants. You should avoid wearing dark colored, tight pieces of clothing as much as possible.

If you plan on practicing sports at night, it is strongly recommended that you use a mosquito repellent, as these insects are attracted to sweat and the discharge of carbon dioxide. If you are a fan of hiking, or if you spend a lot of time outdoors at night, you should consider purchasing clothes that were specifically created to protect you from bug bites.

 

Repellents

There are two types of repellents that you can purchase: natural ones, and ones made of chemical substances. If you are a fan of natural remedies, you can use various oils such as citronella, peppermint, and lavender by rubbing them on your skin before going out.

However, if you want to be 100% protected, it wouldn’t hurt to get a special solution that was designed to be used to repel these insects. Those products that include DEET, picaridin and IR3535 can supply you with long-time protection.

Before you use a repellent of this kind for the first time, it is crucial that you read the instructions provided by the seller. This way, you will know whether or not the choice has to be reapplied throughout the day.

Although there were studies that indicated that repellents that included DEET were toxic, recent research showed that this is not true. To this day, those options that feature this ingredient are considered the most efficient.

Under no circumstances should you spray a repellent that includes DEET directly on your skin. Instead, spray it on your clothes. It is vital that you bring a product of this kind with you if you plan on visiting countries in Africa and Asia, where there are mosquitoes that can transmit life-threatening diseases such as Malaria and the Dengue fever.

Moreover, before you embark on such a trip, it is prudent that you visit your doctor and that you get the necessary vaccination. By doing so, you can be sure that you are protected in case you encounter a mosquito that carries a dangerous parasite.

Annually, more people all around the world die because of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes rather than as a result of injuries caused by all the other animals combined. So, protecting yourself is an important step that should not be neglected.

 

 

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