What in tarnation is that infernal whining?
Has this thought ever crossed your mind while trying to relax in your backyard? Mosquitoes have the uncanny ability to know exactly where your ears are and seemingly enjoy flying back and forth so even their relentless little whine is a pain. And then the nasty little bloodsuckers bite you and things get even worse!
But what about the mosquito’s perspective. Have you ever thought about how long mosquitoes live? The little guys are just fighting for survival like everyone else. Fortunately, it turns out they don’t get to enjoy much of life.
Read on to find out about the mosquito lifespan — and how to cut it short.
The Mosquito Lifespan
Humans don’t like mosquitoes and will squash them at every chance they get. Then there are animals like bats or other insects like dragonflies who love mosquitoes a lot. They particularly enjoy them with a side of fries.
In short, not a lot of mosquitoes have the luxury of dying of “old age”. But when they do, those lucky individuals enjoy a grand total of 42 – 56 days of life on average — if they’re female. Male mosquitoes live for a whopping 10 days or so.
That’s it!? But yet, they still somehow manage to be everywhere and the deadliest creature alive.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Mosquitoes eat primarily plant nectar.
What? Then why are those darn critters always out for blood?
Though they feed on nectar, a female mosquito needs at least one blood meal to produce her eggs and prepare to lay them. Without blood, they are unable to procreate. Males stick to nectar and don’t bite humans.
Where Do Mosquitoes Live?
Mosquitos can live pretty much anywhere there is standing water. Without water they can’t lay their eggs. They have been found in mines as deep as a mile underground and high up in the mountains at 14,000 feet.
Throughout the world, there are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes but only about 176 of these live in the U.S. Despite the type of species or where they live, these little nuisances all follow the same lifecycle.
The Mosquito Lifecycle
There are four stages of the mosquito lifecycle. Things move quickly and mosquitoes can reach adulthood within a couple of weeks.
The Egg Stage
After the female has her blood meal at your expense, she’s ready to lay her eggs. Some species scatter their eggs while others lay them in attached groups that float in the water and are called rafts.
Eggs can hatch within a few days, but this depends on the temperature of the water and other conditions. Eggs laid in areas only intermittently exposed to water can lay dormant for several years waiting for the right moment.
The Larval Stage
Mosquito larvae look like tiny hairy worms. They emerge from their eggs and wiggle around in the water, breathing through an air tube that works like a snorkel. They eat as if aquatic microorganisms were going out of style and molt four times before entering the pupal stage.
This process can last between 4 and 14 days depending on water temperature, food, and the species.
The Pupal Stage
Larvae take a break from their rabid feeding to enter the pupal stage, which only lasts about 1½ to 4 days. Then, the newly formed adult emerges.
The Adult Stage
Males usually emerge first and are ready and waiting. Once the females emerge, a mating swarm occurs. This is a big reason why mosquitoes continue to proliferate despite having such a short lifespan. Their literal first act as an adult is to make babies!
The males then quickly die off while the females fly off in search of a tasty blood meal to start the process all over again.
The Best Mosquito Control
There are numerous ways to keep mosquitoes out of your yard. Removing all areas with standing water is a big one. If they have nowhere to breed, mosquitoes can’t flourish. Look for buckets, trash bins, flowerpots and toys. Refresh bird baths regularly.
A natural solution is to add plants that repel mosquitoes to your garden. This will keep neighboring mosquitoes from coming in search of their blood meals. A female can fly 1 – 10 miles while looking for food and a place to lay her eggs. Many of the plants that repel mosquitoes also repel other pests. These include lavender, eucalyptus, marigold, basil, catnip and citronella.
You can also treat your yard with mosquito yard spray or other mosquito treatments to kill active mosquitoes living in your space.
Expert Texas Mosquito Protection
If you’re looking for solid protection from these pesky little critters, turn to the folks at Buckaroo Pest Protection. We specialize in protecting your home against all sorts of threats — whether they be whiny pests out for blood or excessive chemicals that are harmful to your family’s health.
Contact us today to learn more about our safe and effective mosquito control options!