Facts About Mosquito Habitats

Illustration of Magnified Adult Mosquito

Where do mosquitoes lay their eggs?

Mosquitoes prefer stagnant water within which to lay their eggs.

They most commonly infest:

  • Ponds

  • Marshes

  • Swamps

  • Other wetland habitats

However, they are capable of thriving in a variety of locations and can successfully grow in numbers even when not in their natural habitat. Many species of mosquitoes use containers of water as egg-deposit sites.

Hot, humid environments are most amenable to mosquito growth and survival. Infestations can occur easily in tropical areas. Some species have also been known to inhabit freezing locations such as the Arctic Circle.

Mosquito Larvae Facts

Mosquito larvae can be found in various habitats. Some larvae are active in transient waters such as floodwater, ditches and woodland pools. The Anopheles, Culex, Culiseta, Coquillettidia and Uranotaenia species breed in permanent bodies of water and can survive in polluted water, freshwater, acid water and brackish water swamps. Other mosquito larvae may be present in container water sources, such as puddles upon leaves, and stagnant water within small pools.

How to Identify Mosquito Larvae

Mosquito larvae may be as large as 5 mm and can be clearly visible in water. Larger larvae are located closer to the water’s surface. Mosquito larvae are extremely sensitive and will submerge for protection if they sense disturbance.

What do mosquito eggs look like in water?

If you’re able to see them, a floating raft of eggs will resemble soot floating in the water.

Can mosquito larvae live out of water?

Because mosquito larvae cannot survive away from water, areas affected by an infestation should be combed for water sources. Water that has been stagnant for three days is a prime habitat for mosquitoes.

How to Get Rid of Mosquito Larvae

Mosquito control involves eliminating existing infestations and preventing reinfestation through the eradication of larval populations. In order to control mosquito larvae, regular inspections of possible breeding sites must be conducted. Depending on the severity of infestation, chemical or bacterial larvicide treatment may be necessary in areas where larvae are found.

Why are mosquitoes attracted to water?

The relationship between mosquitoes and water is different than non-aquatic types of insects.

Generally, nature has two types of aquatic animals:

  1. Those that live in water but get oxygen from the air (whales and mosquitoes)

  2. Those that live in water and get their oxygen from the water itself (fish).

Mosquitoes are insects that mostly fit into the first type; they live in water but must make periodic trips to the water’s surface in order to eliminate carbon dioxide and inhale a fresh supply of oxygen.

Mosquito Life Cycle

Water provides mosquitoes with a place to lay eggs, grow and develop through their water stages (egg, larval and pupal). After the airborne portion of their life cycle, females return to water to lay a new batch of fertile eggs. Female mosquitoes usually lay their eggs on the surface of water or in areas where water can rise, flood the eggs, and stimulate them to hatch.

Even as adult mosquitoes leave the pupal stage and become adults, water still plays a role because adult mosquitoes exit the pupal case on the water’s surface and “dry out” before taking flight.

Mosquito Breeding Habits

Water provides mosquitoes with a place to lay eggs, grow and develop through their water stages (egg, larval and pupal). After the airborne portion of their life cycle, females return to water to lay a new batch of fertile eggs. Female mosquitoes usually lay their eggs on the surface of water or in areas where water can rise, flood the eggs and stimulate them to hatch.

How do mosquitoes breed?

Males have feathery antennae they use to locate females. After mating, females typically seek a blood meal to aid in egg production. They often lay them in standing pools of water — man-made sources can include bird baths, buckets and even mud puddles. Egg numbers vary by species but can be as much as over 100 eggs in a single laying.

How to Prevent Mosquito Breeding

It’s important to eliminate hiding spots in order to prevent breeding grounds for these pesky insects. Clean gutters and downspouts, empty water containers, replace light bulbs and refer to your local Orkin Pro for a free pest control estimate and for additional information regarding your unique property. You can also reduce the amount of female feeding sessions by staying indoors during dusk and dawn hours and wearing repellent or skin coverings. Orkin’s mosquito treatment services can also help in the removal of other pests such as spotted lanternflies that can eat away at the landscape.

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