Female mosquitoes (Spanish for “little flies”) are the survivors of the species. They typically live two to three weeks but have been known to survive in sheltered areas for up to six months. Male mosquitoes live significantly shorter lives and rarely make it past ten days.
Understanding the mosquito life span illuminates the ways in which you can reduce the population of these vampiric vermin around your home. Though they may not live long, the reproductive power built into their cycle means new swarms are always on the horizon. We can help you find ways reduce the drone of the buzzing biters near you.
Why DO Mosquitoes Bite Us?
Mosquitoes need your blood to perpetuate their species. Without the protein in the blood that you and other sources supply, female mosquitoes are unable to produce and lay eggs. The males are the innocent bystanders here, subsisting only on sugary plant nectars.
Mosquitoes find their prey primarily by sensing carbon dioxide released from organisms breathing within 100 feet. Scientists also believe that mosquitoes can detect body heat Mosquitoes may even be attracted to clothing that contrasts with its background.
Once a female mosquito locates her prey, she inserts her long, needle-like proboscis into their skin. To keep blood from clotting and trapping her while she drinks, the mosquito releases an anticoagulant. This is the source of the itch we feel during and long after the bite. Our bodies respond by releasing a histamine to increase the flow of white blood cells to the bite location. This is why you experience the tell-tale inflammation and bump.
The Mosquito Life Cycle
Mosquitoes don’t spend their entire lives as winged harbingers of itchiness. There are four phases they pass through to transform from egg to adult.
- Eggs. Once a female has acquired the necessary protein to produce eggs, she lays between 100-200 eggs in water or wet areas. These eggs are patient and can survive up to three months without moisture.
- Larvae. The eggs hatch into hairy worms known as “wigglers.” They feed on microorganisms in the water.
- Pupae. Like a butterfly, the larvae go into a pupae stage and metamorphosize. During this two to seven day phase, these “tumblers” are inactive.
- Adult. The fully grown mosquitoes hatch from the pupae. Once their wings are dry, they are ready to join the mating swarm that will start the cycle over again.
This entire process can occur within a span of days or could take weeks, depending on the species of mosquito and climate. Warm, humid weather speeds the process, making Michigan summers a prime time for propagation.
How You Can Prevent Mosquitoes Around Your Home
Understanding the life span and cycle of these pests can help you keep them away from your family. Here are a few ways you can reduce the population of these prickly pests:
Eliminate standing water. Female mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs; without it they have no means of producing the next generation. Empty out pools, planters, tires and anywhere water may pool. If you have bird baths or fountains, change the water frequently or use a pump to aerate the water.
Use insect repellents. DEET is universally regarded as the best topical defense against mosquitoes. Picaridin, eucalyptus, lemon and Citronella have also proven effective.
Avoid prime time. Mosquitoes fear dehydration and avoid sunny daytime hours. Dawn and dusk are when they are most active.
Maintain doors and windows. Keep screens repaired to minimize home invasion.
Stopping mosquitoes at any stage disrupts their ability to multiply and terrorize you. A little prevention brings a lot of peace-of-mind.
What’s the Best Way to Keep Mosquitoes Away?
Understanding these annoying and potentially dangerous insects makes it easier to avoid them. During their short lives they go through a lot of changes that you can interrupt. Keep yourself free and clear by upkeeping your home and yard and by planning ahead before you go outside.
If you’ve reached that point where you hear buzzing all the time and can’t escape that constant feeling of itchiness all over, it may be time for a more serious effort. Call or get in touch with Griffin Pest Solutions right away. We can help you drastically shorten the mosquito life span of the population near you.