If you’re asking the question how long do mosquitos live, you might be hoping that the answer is until they bite you, like bee stings. However, while that might seem like poetic justice, it’s not the case.
Mosquitoes don’t die when they bite you – unless you catch them in the act and swat them! Instead, they fly away, ready to bite another day!
Unfortunately, the answer to the question how long do mosquitoes live is also not as simple as you might like, because all mosquito species are different. Here’s what you need to know about mosquito lifespan, how long do mosquitos live without blood, and everything else you might have asked.
The first thing you need to know about mosquitoes is that while they are eggs, they can stay dormant for months. Often, under deep snow. This is how they survive the winter in cold climates, only to come buzzing back as soon as it thaws.
Some cities try to limit how many eggs hatch into larvae and then become adults by spraying insecticide in breeding areas, but it’s impossible to get rid of all of them. So you can still expect an itchy summer!
The next thing you need to know about how long does a mosquito live is the relationship between feeding and breeding.
Only female mosquitoes suck blood (males prefer nectar), and they only do it when they’re about to lay eggs. So those itchy bites and your stolen blood are all to create more mosquitoes. As if the discomfort weren’t already enough!
The only good thing about mosquito eggs and larvae is that they’re not flying around your space, looking for tender spots to bite when you’re not looking.
But eventually, mosquito eggs and larvae become adult mosquitos too, and how long it takes depends on the species in question. Some can complete the process in a matter of days, while others might take up to four months to become a fully grown adult.
Since it’s only adult mosquitoes that bite you, this is the part of their lifespan that’s of the most interest to most people.
It is relatively short. Most adult female mosquitos will only live about two or three weeks. However, there are species that can live for several months, so it really depends what kind of mosquito you’re dealing with.
Male mosquitos have a considerably shorter lifespan. They usually only live about 10 days from when they become an adult. But since they aren’t the ones doing the biting, that isn’t much of a consolation!
In most cases, mosquitoes will only hatch when the weather is warm. So in cold places, that usually means they will start appearing in late spring and start disappearing in the fall.
Unfortunately, Texas isn’t a cold place, so if you live here, you’re likely to see at least some mosquitoes most of the year.
The problem with mosquitoes is that even though their lifespan is relatively short, they are prolific breeders.
So while a female mosquito is flying around, she’s also going to be producing many more mosquitoes that will become the next generation. Usually, when you have a mosquito breeding ground, which means thousands or even tens of thousands of individuals hatching every few weeks.
One adult female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs at a time, so if you have a large mosquito population, it will stay large!
Even if you do spray their breeding grounds, it’s just not possible to get all of them, so you’re going to have wave after wave of the little biters to deal with!
There are actually a few problems with using insecticides to control mosquito populations.
First, there’s the environmental impact. Most insecticides don’t only kill mosquitoes. They also affect useful insects like bees, and others like moths and butterflies.
Then there’s the fact that insecticides that kill adult mosquitos usually don’t work on eggs or larvae. So even if you kill the mosquitos that are already flying around, you will still have a mosquito problem when the new batch of eggs and larvae hatch.
Many people think that because mosquitos suck blood, if they don’t get blood from you, they’ll die. That’s not true.
Firstly, even though female mosquitos do suck blood, it’s not to keep them alive, but rather, it’s needed when they are going to lay eggs.
Secondly, mosquitoes don’t only bite humans, so if they can’t bite you, they can find a dog, a cat or something else to get their meal if they need to.
Mosquitoes can live for weeks without blood, and they’ll simply wait for the opportunity to appear if they need to.
There’s a reason why mosquitoes have lived so long, and why there are so many types in most parts of the world. They’re very good at what they do. While they might not live very long, during that time, they create many new mosquitoes, and their sheer numbers make them almost impossible to eliminate.
Because mosquitoes also feed on animals other than humans when they need blood to breed, they can survive in isolated places where we wouldn’t be able to find them, let alone get rid of them.
All it takes is a strong wind for mosquitoes to be blown a very long distance, and before you know it, you’ve got thousands of them again!
Mosquitoes are so successful that they’ve been around a lot longer than humans. In fact, we know that they were already around in the Jurassic period, which makes them at least 210 million years old. They’ve survived ice ages, climate change, and the rise of humans. So while they’re certainly pests, you have to admire their species for its tenacity and longevity.
You know when we said that the answer to the question of how long do mosquitoes live depends a lot on the species? Well, you might be interested to know that there are about 2,700 species of mosquito that we know of. They are believed to have come from Southern Africa originally, but now they are found nearly everywhere on earth.
It seems kind of unfair that an insect like the mosquito should be so successful as a species. After all, all they bring us is misery and itching!
However, while mosquitoes certainly are annoying, they do have another purpose: pollinating plants.
Honey bees might get all the glory when it comes to pollination, but they’re not the only insect that does the job. Since male mosquitoes like to sip nectar instead of blood, they’re a perfect pollinator, and are actually good for the environment.
So, we know that mosquitoes have been around for a lot longer than humans. We know that they actually do have a purpose, and that they’re not always the blood thirsty tyrants that make our lives miserable. How do we coexist with them, since we can’t eliminate them, and it wouldn’t be a good idea anyway? There are actually several ways, such as:
You can’t avoid all mosquitoes all the time. But you can take steps to protect yourself when you’re out, and to keep them out of your home.
If you feel that the mosquitoes around your home are out of control, and you can’t live with them anymore, it’s a good idea to contact a pest control specialist.
There might also be some parts of the year when mosquito populations in your area are lower, and treating the adults, eggs and larvae with various insecticides can help to lessen the impact of the next wave of adult mosquitoes.
But mosquitoes have been around for millions of years. They survived whatever it was that killed the dinosaurs, and they’ll be around for a long time to come. So we have to find ways to protect ourselves while we share the world with them.