How long can mosquitoes survive?
August 17th, 2017 by Mike MacDonald in Mosquito
Mid to late August can be the peak of mosquito season, so in this post we answer the question of how long can mosquitoes survive and with summer ending is it worth treating for mosquitoes?
How a mosquito’s life cycle works
You may not know it, but mosquitoes actually have a relatively short lifespan. Adult male mosquitoes usually live about a week or two, but adult females can live about a month. How can a creature with such a short lifespan cause so much trouble?
Mosquitoes do have a relatively short lifespan, but they also can reproduce very quickly and in rather large numbers. There are 4 life stages that mosquitoes go through, and they are the egg, larva, pupae, and adult.
Facts about mosquito eggs you should know, in order to reduce their numbers
Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in stagnant and standing water, cattail or tree hollows, and mud depending on species. There can be all kinds of places that mosquitoes find access to stagnant water, some naturally occurring, and some that you may have caused around your home yourself.
Many people leave standing water around their home and don’t really give it much thought. Mosquitoes have been known to lay eggs in as little as 1 cm deep water. That could be as small as a bottle cap from a soda bottle holding some water.
Of course in most cases it’s standing water in the form of puddles, pet dishes left outside, flower pots, ponds, and old tires among other things. Being aware that it takes very little stagnant water for mosquitoes to lay eggs makes properly removing those sources important to lowering mosquito numbers.
It only takes about a week for mosquito eggs to hatch, and from there, about 3 to 4 weeks to become full adults. On top of that, some female mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs at a time. This means leaving standing water unchecked for a few days after a rain storm could lead to several hundred if not even thousands of mosquitoes on your hands within a few weeks.
If a mosquito lays an egg in water that dries up, that does not necessarily mean that the egg will not survive. Mosquito eggs can lie dormant for years until they are activated.
Should you treat for mosquitoes towards the end of summer?
You might think that with many mosquitoes dying off in early to late fall, and with such short lifespans, it might not make sense to treat later in the summer for mosquitoes, however that isn’t the case.
It’s obviously better to start treatment for mosquitoes early in the season in spring and early summer as reducing numbers before they have time to build up their population will lead to lower numbers later in summer.
At the same time, you can also help reduce numbers for next season by treating for mosquitoes at the end of summer and early fall – not to mention the benefit of increasing comfort by reducing the number of adult mosquitoes flying around seeking blood meals. Interestingly enough, mosquito eggs can actually survive the winter.
Mosquitoes will continue to lay eggs later into the fall and continue to breed as long as they can. If you leave them unchecked, they can lay lots of eggs as winter comes, and those eggs can remain frozen over winter and start to hatch as spring time comes.
You won’t be able to enjoy as much mosquito free time by waiting until late summer and early fall to treat for mosquitoes, but you can improve the mosquito situation for the remaining warm months and make next years season a bit more bearable by acting now, before it’s too late.
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