If you’re tired of mosquito bites, you can join a very crowded club: experts estimate that mosquitoes have been flying around since sometime in the Jurassic period, which means they’re around 210 million years old.
In other words, these pesky insects are nothing if not hardy—which may be the last thing you want to hear if you’re struggling to get your local population under control. Mosquitoes are great at finding sneaky places to hide and to lay eggs, and keeping them at bay can be difficult.
Here’s what you don’t want (but need) to know about mosquito eggs.
When and How Do Mosquitoes Lay Their Eggs?
A female mosquito will lay eggs only at night. They can lay eggs once every two to three nights, up to three times in a row.
While we associate mosquito bites with normal feeding, the truth is that female mosquitoes also require a blood meal anytime they are about to lay eggs. While they can survive on nectar for nourishment, their eggs will require protein to grow. When female mosquitoes feed on human blood, they receive the protein they need for eggs to develop, signaling that they can find the perfect place to rest until they are ready to lay the eggs.
It can take up to five days after a blood meal for a female to lay eggs. They will then require a new blood meal for the next batch of eggs, with the cycle continuing until the mosquito’s death.
What Do Mosquito Eggs Look Like?
Mosquito eggs are white at first before darkening to a near-black color in a day or so. Most mosquito species lay 50 to 100 eggs at a time. They deposit these eggs in small clumps that float like a raft on the water’s surface.
What Are the Life Stages of Mosquito Eggs?
There are four distinct phases of a mosquito’s life. The lifecycle takes about a month in full.
As mentioned, a female mosquito will lay eggs on the surface of a water source. These eggs stick together in raft-like clusters and can take up to a week to hatch.
Also called “wigglers,” mosquito larvae resemble hairy worms with hard heads and soft, segmented bodies.
They are less than ¼ of an inch long at this stage, and they are small enough to hang upside down near the surface of the water for anywhere from 4 to 14 days. To breathe, they use a small siphon tube at the tip of the abdomen.
During this stage, mosquito larvae will molt several times, growing larger each time. Due to the energy needed for this growth, mosquito larvae are ravenous and feed on microorganisms, algae, and the eggs of other insect species during this stage.
Also called “tumblers,” pupae can be found floating above the water’s surface. At this short stage, which lasts only a few days, the mosquitoes will not eat or molt. Instead, they’ll transform into adult mosquitoes inside their pupal casing.
Once it hatches from the casing, an adult mosquito will sit on the surface of the water until its new body dries out, allowing it to fly. Adult mosquitoes live for just a few weeks.
Where Do Mosquitoes Lay Their Eggs?
Knowing where mosquitoes lay their eggs is a key part of minimizing their effect on your household. Mosquitoes seldom travel more than a mile from where they hatched, so removing prized egg-laying spaces from your immediate vicinity can keep too many of them from breeding where you live.
You may have already known that mosquitoes prefer stagnant water for breeding purposes, but you may not realize how many sources of water buildup there can be in your yard. Here are some common culprits and what to do about them.
- Birdbaths: change the water frequently, or consider a solar-powered fountain for more water movement
- Kiddie pool: empty and refill the pool at least once a week when in heavy use
- Tire swings: drill a hole in the bottom for proper drainage
Pet bowls: switch out pets’ water daily or empty it at night
- Kayaks and canoes: store them upside down to avoid pooling water
- Sandboxes: allow your sandbox to dry in the sun and purchase a plastic cover for rain
- Grill covers and garbage cans: make sure the lids for these are tight to keep out rain
- Tree holes: fill these using the CDC’s tips to keep mosquitoes at bay
- Leaf piles and grass clippings: get rid of these after cutting your lawn
- Ponds or water gardens: use larvicide or install a fountain to keep water moving
- Gutters: clear away leaves and twigs on a regular basis
- Plant drainage plates: dump these out frequently once plants have been watered
Head outside to do a quick inventory of your yard, and you might be surprised to find how many of these common culprits you see.
What Can You Do About Mosquito Eggs?
If you’re struggling to keep your local mosquitoes in check, you have two options: home remedies or professional extermination.
DIY options will often include chemical repellents like DEET as well as physical netting and traps. Creating air movement through oscillating fans can help, as well as repelling mosquitoes through strong smells like citronella.
However, if the number of mosquitoes is overwhelming, it may be time for professional mosquito management. A professional service can do an expert property inspection to locate likely breeding grounds. With specialized treatment plans for your needs, an expert can help you get rid of those mosquito eggs for good.
Eliminate Your Mosquitoes for Good
While getting rid of these pesky insect swarms may seem impossible, figuring out how to tackle the problem of mosquito eggs is the key. Identifying likely breeding grounds in your yard can help you remove these troublesome insects, and a professional can help you work out a treatment plan for your needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help to take back your yard!
Want more of the expert advice you need to keep your home in good shape? Check out our other helpful posts for more tips.