Understanding the Life Cycle of a Mosquitoes: How to Stop Breeding Grounds from Forming

Dengue, Zika, malaria, and West Nile are just a few widely known viruses that spread quickly through mosquitoes. In truth, there are many other harmful diseases that surface and spread through this dangerous insect. In addition to this, there are other mosquitoes that don’t spread germs but simply bite people.

There are more than 200 different species of mosquitoes present in the US. Of all of these, about 12 are disease-spreading species.

To that end, the local government, in collaboration with federal initiatives, is always planning ways to kill or at least repel mosquitoes from all the major public spaces. These professionals also keep track of the number of mosquitoes and the different species of the insects that are responsible for spreading diseases among the population.

Of course, it greatly helps to identify the mosquitoes and take quick action to prevent any outbreaks in the area. The one thing that helps with this is understanding the mosquito’s life cycle and nipping the problem in the bud.

In this blog, we will take a deeper look at the mosquito lifecycle, understand how to deal with larvae and adult mosquitoes, and discuss ways to repel mosquitoes and how you can keep your backyard mosquito-free.  

Mosquito Life Cycle

From birth to adulthood, a mosquito’s life cycle can be divided into four distinct, easily recognizable stages. Here’s a quick look at what each stage entails and how the mosquito develops during all the phases of its life.

Stage 1: Egg

Typically, an adult mosquito lays one egg at a time or forms a string of eggs called a raft. In some species of mosquitoes, the adult exclusively lays rafts of about 200 eggs while other species like Aedes only lay one egg at any given time. The latter is true for most species of mosquitoes in the US.

Similarly, some species lay their eggs in water while some lay them in damp soil that’s on the path of water and is to be flooded at some point. Either way, water is an essential part of the mosquito’s life cycle. Some eggs may hatch in 48 hours while others may endure subzero temperatures and hatch when the temperature rises.

Mosquito resting on upholstery.

Stage 2: Larva

Once the mosquito’s egg hatches, it transforms into a larva. The larva lives on water but rises to the surface to respire. Typically, the larvae have four growth spurts called molts and they shed their skin after every molt. These larvae also have tubes called siphons that help them breathe while hanging upside down from the water surface.

Some species of mosquitoes don’t have siphons but instead have an opening to breathe. They lie parallel to the water surface and expose the opening to take in oxygen. These larvae also need to feed off of organic matter and microorganisms present in the water. Once the larva reaches the fourth molt, it changes into the pupa.

Stage 3: Pupa

As a pupa, the mosquito first develops mobility and starts moving towards safe spaces by flipping their tails. During this non-feeding stage, the pupa also begins responding to changes in the light levels around them. When the pupa moves to the protective space at the bottom of the water pool, they begin to turn into adult mosquitoes.

The process is quite similar to the metamorphosis of the butterfly as it also transforms from a caterpillar to an adult butterfly. In most types of species, this takes about two days after which the pupa completely sheds its skin and becomes an adult mosquito.

Close up shot of a mosquito.

Stage 4: Adult Mosquito

When the pupa finally becomes an adult mosquito, it comes to the surface of the water to rest and dry its wings before taking flight. During this time, its body also hardens so it can sustain harsher conditions. An adult mosquito flies around for some time before mating and blood feeding.

The entire mosquito lifecycle may take as few as four days or as much as one month. The duration depends on the species of mosquito and the temperature they’re exposed to. Your mosquito control efforts also depend on where the mosquito is in its life cycle.

Mosquito sitting on paper.

Effective Techniques for Repelling Mosquitoes

If you’re looking for some effective mosquito repellent tips online, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a rundown of some of the most effective and natural ideas to repel mosquitoes from your space.

Killing Larvae in Stagnant Water

Since larvae need stagnant water to live and survive, you can control mosquitoes by killing the larvae while they’re still in the water. If you notice the eggs or the larvae in water, you can simply dump the water to prevent its growth. You can also dump some soap water into the standing water to kill the larvae; however, the best course of action is to call an exterminator.

Using Mosquito Repellent Sprays

An effective way to deal with adult mosquitoes is to buy a mosquito repellent spray that works. You should look for long-lasting, DEET-free, and easy-to-use sprays to keep your house and family protected.

Mosquito Repelling Plants

Another way to deal with the mosquitoes in your space is to sow and grow mosquito repellent plants in your outdoors. Plants such as marigold, lavender, catnip, citronella, garlic, peppermint, and more are effective in repelling the mosquitoes naturally and keeping your space free of these pesky insects.

Plants used for landscaping.

Let Us Help You With This

As we approach spring, it’s important to deal with the excessive mosquitoes and bugs that begin surfacing with rising temperatures. As a homeowner, you should always be on the lookout for ways to keep your backyard mosquito-free. Thankfully, there are some effective mosquito repellents that can make your outdoors a haven for you and your family.

Our team at BackYard Alpha offers all things backyard-related and particularly enjoy beautifying yards while making them safer! Visit our informative website to find all the best gardening ideas online, popular pond designs, and most importantly, mosquito repellent ideas and techniques.

Learn more about us to get started now!