Where do mosquitoes live? If you ever wondered about this, it probably came with a wish that they’d spend more time at home! With nearly 180 species of mosquitoes in the United States and over 3,000 worldwide, knowing where these troublesome insects live and when they’re most active can be useful in helping you avoid being bitten.
As far as where you’ll find them, those who associate moisture with mosquitoes are on the right track. The answer is closely tied to their lifecycle, which relies on water.
Depending on the type of mosquito, a female might lay her eggs in any number of moist places, such as the shallows of ponds or lakes, wet soil, a puddle that hasn’t yet evaporated, irrigated fields, or even tree holes that collect water after a rain.
Some types of mosquitoes — called permanent water mosquitoes — lay their eggs in permanent or semi-permanent bodies of water like ponds, lakes or streams. Others referred to as floodwater mosquitoes, lay eggs in places like flood plains or temporary pools of water left after rainfall or snow melt. Though the area may dry out, the eggs hatch as soon as the location becomes moist again.
Once the eggs hatch into larvae, they develop in the water by feeding on microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa, algae, etc. The larvae molt four times before forming a pupae, which no longer feeds or molts. Finally, an adult mosquito emerges from the pupal case.
Adult mosquitoes begin the process of reproduction 28 hours after they emerge. They feed on plant juices and nectar, but females typically need a feeding on blood in order to form their eggs. When not eating or buzzing around your backyard pool party, mosquitoes are resting. But where?
Adult mosquitoes usually prefer resting outdoors rather than inside a human habitat. They can be found in any number of places, including in tall grasses, on the underside of growing foliage, under wet leaves, in the hollows of trees — basically any place that is dark and humid, which offers protection from strong winds and excessive sun. Also, in terms of environmental conditions, mosquitoes don’t tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The times of day when mosquitoes are active varies according to individual species. Members of the genus Aedes, which can carry disease-producing pathogens like the Zika virus, are most active in the daytime, especially during the morning and late afternoon/evening. Other types, such as Culex mosquitoes — known to carry pathogens that result in diseases to humans, birds and other animals, including West Nile virus — are primarily active at night. Generally speaking across all species, dusk is the time when mosquito activity is highest.
Considering that mosquitoes need water in order to reproduce, it makes sense to evaluate sources of moisture around your home and yard that might be providing standing water for mosquito larvae to grow. These might be things as simple as buckets left out that fill with water, tire swings that collect water in the bottom, birdbaths and ornamental ponds, kids’ wading pools, and the underside of decks, where water can collect. One common breeding opportunity for mosquitoes comes in the form of those gutters that get clogged with leaves and other debris, which get remoistened every time it rains.
Apart from breeding grounds, consider eliminating hangouts for adult mosquitoes like uncut grass, piles of leaves or grass, or dense, untrimmed bushes and plants.
Should you feel that you want experienced, professional help with a persistent mosquito problem in your yard, contact our team here at MosquitoNix to discuss our highly effective options for eliminating these harmful pests, including mosquito misting systems and mosquito fogging. With nearly two decades of dependable, expert experience, we are proud to be the national leader in mosquito control systems.
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