How long do mosquitoes live?
Answer: Mosquitoes can live from a few days to months, depending on species and environmental conditions. There are about 180 mosquito species in the continental U.S.
But only two (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) transmit viruses that cause encephalitis or severe illness. In The U.S., daily patterns of mosquito activity are driven primarily by rain and ambient temperatures – both factors which will vary geographically during different times of the year as well as being influenced by future weather forecasts for your location. Adult mosquitoes typically survive between 1-7 days without a blood meal, but start to show signs of sluggishness after 3-4 days and then usually die shortly thereafter when deprived of food or water.
One other important factor is that mosquitoes lay their eggs after a blood meal. This means the longer they survive without feeding the more fertile they will be if and when they do feed, so it is critical to stop these insects before becoming reproductive. For this reason, we recommend treating your property as soon as you notice mosquito activity to ensure there are no egg-laying females on your property.
Can mosquitoes live in water?
Mosquitoes are found throughout most of the U.S., and they thrive in very diverse habitats – from tropical rainforests to marshes, swamps, and grasslands; as well as suburban areas. Adult mosquitoes typically prefer warm weather, but there are some species that can survive cold winters by entering a state of hibernation or torpor in which their body temperature is reduced significantly while resting atop leaf litter or icy surfaces (2). This allows them to live in colder areas, especially those with a year-round supply of water.
The larvae (or immature stage) of mosquitoes can live in even less hospitable environments for longer periods of time as they have the ability to breathe through air tubes that are opened at the surface of the water. Larvae must have specific levels of oxygen and bacteria present for proper development, but some species exist where there is little or no oxygen. These types can develop in swamps, marshes, and wastewater systems. A few species can survive without oxygen by using fermentation instead to break down organic material into usable forms of energy (3). For this reason alone, it is important to treat every part of your property equally; because you never know what may be breeding or living under your feet.
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