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Last Updated on Sunday, May 5, 2024 by Paula Milton

The answer to the question “How long does a mosquito live?” depends on whether the mosquito is male or female. Female mosquitoes can live for up to 56 days, while males typically only live for 10 days. So, if you’re being bitten by a mosquito, there’s a good chance it’s a female!

Mosquito Biology

Mosquitoes are tiny, long-legged, two-winged insects from the order of Diptera and the family Culicidae. Female mosquitoes need blood to develop their eggs. They pierce the skin with their mouthparts and withdraw blood through a tube. This can cause redness, swelling, and itching at the site of the bite. Some people may also have an allergic reaction to mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes are distinguished from other flies by their scales on the wing veins and wing margins, as well as an elongate proboscis that is used to bite and extract blood from their host, which is required for egg development. More than 2,600 species are in this group, including over 162 species that occur in the United States and belong to 13 genera and 3 subfamilies.

The Mosquito Life Cycle

Mosquito-life-cycle

Eggs

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, where they hatch into larvae within 48 hours.

Larvae

Larvae spend the next week or so growing and developing before emerging as pupae.

Pupae

Pupae float on the surface of the water and do not feed; instead, they undergo a metamorphosis that transforms them into adult mosquitoes.

Adults – How long do Mosquitoes Live

Finally, adult mosquitoes emerge from the pupal stage and begin feeding on blood. As adults, mosquitoes can live for up to 56 days (for females) or 10 days (for males). So, if you’re being bitten by a mosquito, there’s a good chance it’s a female!

Common Mosquito Types

Aedes aegypti – Yellow Fever Mosquito

How-long-do-mosquitoes-Live-Aedes-aegypti

The Aedes aegypti is a small, dark mosquito with white stripes on its legs and body. This species is known to carry and transmit diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue fever, and chikungunya.

Aedes albopictus- Asian Tiger Mosquito

How-long-does-a-mosquito-Live-Aedes-albopictus

The Aedes albopictus, or Asian tiger mosquito, is a striped mosquito that can carry and transmit diseases such as the Zika virus and dengue fever.

Culex Pipiens – Common House Mosquito

How-long-do-mosquitoes-Live-Culex-Pipiens

The Culex pipiens is a small, dark mosquito with white markings on its body. This species is known to carry and transmit the West Nile virus.

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

There are several things that can attract mosquitoes, including:

Standing water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, so anything from a puddle to a pond can be a breeding ground for these insects.

Dark colors: Dark clothing can attract mosquitoes, as they are drawn to heat.

Sweet scents: fragrances and perfumes can attract mosquitoes, as they are attracted to the sweetness of the scent.

Breath: Mosquitoes can detect the carbon dioxide that we exhale, which is how they find us when we’re outdoors.

So, if you’re looking to avoid being bitten by a mosquito, it’s best to stay away from standing water, wear light-colored clothing, and avoid using any scented products.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

As we mentioned before, mosquitoes can carry and transmit diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue fever, chikungunya, and West Nile virus. These diseases can cause symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain, and nausea. In some cases, these diseases can be deadly. So, it’s important to take precautions to avoid being bitten by a mosquito.

Some ways to protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases include:

  • Wearing long sleeves and pants when you’re outdoors
  • Using mosquito repellent
  • Staying in areas that are well-ventilated
  • Avoiding standing water
  • Covering your skin with clothing or mosquito netting

Mosquito Control Around the Home

There are several things you can do to help reduce the mosquito population around your home:

Eliminate standing water

Remove any stagnant water from your property, including puddles, birdbaths, and rain gutters.

Keep your yard clean

Keep your yard free of debris, leaves, and tall grass.

Install mosquito netting

Cover any openings to your home with mosquito netting to keep these insects out.

Use mosquito traps

There are many different types of mosquito traps available on the market that can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area.

By taking these simple steps, you can help reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito and contracting a mosquito-borne disease.

Where do Mosquitoes Live

Mosquitoes can be found all over the world, in both tropical and temperate climates. In the United States, these insects are most common in the southeastern states, as well as Hawaii. However, they can be found in other parts of the country as well.

Mosquitoes typically live near sources of standing water, such as marshes, ponds, and lakes. They will also lay their eggs in these stagnant bodies of water.

So, if you’re looking to avoid mosquitoes, it’s best to stay away from areas of standing water. You should also take precautions to protect yourself from these insects when you are outdoors.

Where do Mosquitoes Live during the Day?

During the day, mosquitoes will typically rest in shady areas, such as in trees or under bushes. They will also often rest in areas of high humidity, such as near bodies of water.

At night, mosquitoes are more active and will come out to feed on blood. This is when they are most likely to bite humans and other animals.

Author

  • Amelia Griffith

    Amelia Griffith is a distinguished luminary in the field of sleep medicine, possessing a wealth of expertise across various domains that have shaped her into an esteemed authority in the realm of sleep health. Her academic journey commenced at Harvard University, where she obtained a foundational degree in Neuroscience, setting the stage for her subsequent forays into the intricate workings of the brain. Continuing her studies at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she pursued advanced studies in Neurology, delving deeply into the mechanisms of neurological conditions intricately linked with sleep disorders. Driven by a quest to comprehend the holistic facets of sleep and its implications on mental health, she expanded her horizons into psychiatry during her tenure at Stanford University's Department of Psychiatry. This phase equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between sleep patterns and mental well-being. Her passion for pediatric care led her to specialize in pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, where she honed interventions for young individuals grappling with sleep disorders. Furthering her exploration into sleep science and psychology, she enriched her knowledge at the University of Pennsylvania, unraveling the profound impact of psychological factors on sleep quality. Certifications and Degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Neuroscience - Harvard University Advanced Studies in Neurology - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Specialization in Psychiatry - Stanford University School of Medicine Pediatric Care Specialization - Columbia University Medical Center Expertise in Sleep Science and Psychology - University of Pennsylvania Board Certification in Sleep Medicine from the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) Beyond her professional pursuits, Amelia Griffith seamlessly integrates her artistic hobbies into her life. An accomplished painter, she finds inspiration from the intricate patterns of the brain, translating her scientific curiosity into artistic expression. Her love for literature and continuous reading not only expands her knowledge but also fuels her imagination, offering creative solutions to the challenges she encounters in her profession. Family: Amelia Griffith is a devoted mother to two daughters and a son. Her journey through sleep disorders mirrors her family's struggles, providing her with profound empathy and understanding in her professional pursuits. Overcoming these challenges together has strengthened their familial bond, fostering resilience and unity. Amelia Griffith's commitment to excellence and compassionate patient care has earned her admiration within academic circles and among those whose lives she has positively impacted. Her ongoing advocacy for better sleep health reflects her dedication to improving global well-being, leaving an indelible mark in the field of sleep medicine.

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