What Are Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes belong to the Culicidae family of insects which consists of about 3,600 species of small flies.
Female mosquitoes will live for a few weeks while the males will only survive for a week to ten days, depending on the species and the climate.
The adult female will lay her eggs in a wet container or standing water just above the water line. Once the water level rises above the eggs, mosquito larvae emerge.
The mosquito larvae will feed on microorganisms, molting three times before transforming to the pupa stage. Once the mosquito sheds the pupal skin with fully formed wings, it is ready to fly and leave the water.
Mosquito Feeding and Reproduction
While the males will fly off to find nectar found in flowers, the females will find humans or animals to feed on.
This feeding will allow her to produce eggs. She will find a warm, damp spot where she waits for her eggs to develop, then she lays them and flies off to do it all over again.
She can lay a new batch of mosquito larvae every three nights. And they don’t need a constant supply of water because the eggs can survive up to eight months waiting for water to trigger hatching.
The Mosquito Life Cycle
All mosquito species go through four distinct stages during their life cycle:
- Egg - hatches when exposed to water.
- Larva - (plural: larvae) "wriggler" lives in water; molts several times; most species surface to breathe air.
- Pupa - (plural: pupae) "tumbler" does not feed; stage just before emerging as adult.
- Adult - flies short time after emerging and after its body parts have hardened.
How Do I Keep Mosquitoes Out of My Yard?
The first step is to inspect your property for any standing water. This includes everything from a watering can to debris which may collect rain water.
Be aware that many of our favorite landscape features like bird baths or fountains, where mosquito larvae thrive, and which attracts females to lay eggs.
Risk with water features can be mitigated with a water treatment which will keep microorganisms from surviving in the water.
If there is nothing for the mosquito larvae to feed on, they cannot survive in the water. They prefer shallow water with organic nutrients, so if you’re experiencing problems, the bird bath might need to go.
Next, call a professional. There are numerous treatments to help mitigate mosquitoes, and professional pest control technicians, like the ones at Croach®, can help explain what system will best address your needs.
To prevent bites, the CDC has a good resource for protecting yourself from mosquito bites.