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Mosquito Life Cycle: How Long Do They Live?
Mosquitoes are annoying and hazardous due to their disease transmitting bites. Thankfully in the mosquito life cycle, they have a short lifespan.
Mosquitoes have been on earth for around 210 million years. Roughly 3500 species of mosquitoes plague our planet with no end in sight. To understand their lifespan start with the mosquito life cycle.
4 Stages of a Mosquito Life Cycle
Stagnant water is the breeding ground for mosquitoes for laying their eggs. Whether it’s in your yard or your garden, if it remains undisturbed for a couple of weeks, the female mosquito will lay its eggs there.
Mosquito eggs need water for proper development. Initially, eggs are white but will turn black within a day resembling a speck of dirt. In favorable temperatures, eggs will take 1-3 days to hatch, and produce the mosquito larvae.
Mosquito eggs can survive the harshest of winters. The eggs will wait to hatch when outside conditions favor them, even after a whole year.
Female mosquitoes can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime.
Larvae are the baby mosquitoes also known as ‘wigglers’ because of their frantic twitching motion in the water. Mosquito larvae feed on microorganisms, algae, and bacteria which are available in aquatic conditions. Larvae are vulnerable during this stage and are at risk of predators like fish and birds.
Cold-bodied mosquitoes require outside heat for their development. So, larvae will mature as quickly as the external heat favors them. Larvae develop within a week or so and continue molting (shed their skin) to develop into pupae. Larvae undergo four molting stages, and by the end of the last stage are around 1/4-inches long.
The pupae stage is the relaxing stage of the mosquito life cycle. In this phase, they don’t do anything except relax and swim around in the water. Just like larvae they live on the surface and take in oxygen through their trumpets. Pupae take almost four days to develop their tissues. They then slit open their cocoon, and emerge as an adult mosquito.
The only purpose of adult mosquitoes in life is to mate and feed. They mate within a couple of days after coming out of their cocoon. Female mosquitoes mate only once in their life but can lay up to 100 eggs in one batch. Usually, they produce up to three sets of eggs before dying.
Mosquitoes usually feed upon plant nectar, and fruit juices for nourishment. However, females also need protein for the development of their eggs, and they drive the protein from human blood. After a blood meal, female mosquitoes fly away to a warm place and rest there until their eggs are developed. After laying eggs, they fly again to hunt for blood and to nourish another set of eggs.
Life Span of Mosquitoes
The life span of mosquitoes varies between species. Some survive only in summer, and the moment winter arrives they die. Others hibernate in winter and have a longer lifespan. However, eggs of all mosquito species can survive in all weather conditions. Winter has no effect on them and will hatch in the spring after winter is over.
Male mosquitoes die within five days after mating whereas female mosquitoes may live up to a month or two depending on the climate. Despite a short lifespan, the number of mosquitoes never decreases because of the immense reproductive ability of female mosquitoes.***
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Mosquito Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites:
What You Need to Know About the Bloodsuckers’ Bites
Their bites look all the same, but there are some differences. Upon knowing which bite it is, it makes rather helpful in providing the first aid and necessary treatment.
The mosquitoes and the bed bugs are the most common insects to be found in every household. Both the insects are irritating due to their bites, which are sometimes very harmful.
Here we will describe all the facts that you need to know about a mosquito bite and a bed bug bite.
Compared to bed bug bites, mosquito bites are more itchy with red bumps appearing on the skin after the bite. Some effects which a mosquito bite can cause are redness, soreness, and swelling. Usually, they feed on the blood, so they puncture the skin to suck the blood.
There are certain parasites and virus which can enter your skin while a mosquito bites you. These bites can cause severe damage to your health. The West Nile Virus is mostly transmitted to the human body all over the world by mosquitoes.
Other than that, they can cause some other infections and diseases like encephalitis (a type of brain infection), malaria, and yellow fever.
Bed Bug Bites
The symptoms which you will face if you are bitten by a bed bug are itchiness, sores, and irritation. The bed bug bites can be found in different places of your body like neck, face, hands, shoulders, arms, and legs.
Usually, it depends on the area of the body which you left exposed while sleeping. There are different reactions which can be visible after the bed bug bites like difficulties in breathing, blisters, fever, feeling nauseous, feeling like flu, irregular heartbeat, and swollen tongue.
“There are certain parasites and virus which can enter your skin while a mosquito bites you. These bites can cause severe damage to your health.”
Difference Between Mosquito Bites and Bed Bug Bites
Now there is a debate that what are possible symptoms, which differentiate the bite of a mosquito and the bite of a bed bug. Here are a few details which will help you understand the difference.
Bed Bug Bites: What Do They Look Like?
The bed bug bite is reddish in color and had a dark spot in the center. The symptoms of these bites only occur after some time after the bite and not instantly.
At first, it swells and after some time becomes itchy. The bites get more infected when you scratch that. Also, the bite pattern is not random as bed bug bites appear in a cluster or in arranged lines. If you have this kind of bites, then it’s likely to be the signs of bed bugs.
Mosquito Bites: What Do They Look Like?
These bites are somewhat pinkish or reddish in color. The main difference it has with the bed bug bite is that not only the bitten area but the area surrounding the bite can be itchy too.
It also has a tendency to get infected when scratched. A mosquito bite markings are random and isolated because they can’t bite through linen/ clothes as bed bugs can.
How to Treat the Bites Naturally
There are certain things which you can do while you are bitten by a mosquito or a bed bug. They are not too dangerous but to avoid having severe symptoms, try to cure it before it’s out of hand.
DIY Mosquito Bite Treatment
- Use a menthol flavor toothpaste over the bitten are to get rid of the itch.
- Apply honey as it is a natural antibiotic.
- Rub the fleshy side of the banana peel on the bitten area, and the natural oils will help to fade the itch.
- Rubbing ice is another good idea.
- Some other things which can be used over the bitten area to stop the irritation are Vapour Rub and Aloe Vera.
DIY Bed Bug Bite Treatment
- The bitten are must be washed first with soapy water to prevent any infection. It will reduce the itchiness too.
- If the bite itches more, you can apply a corticosteroid cream to the area. You can get the cream from any local medicine store.
The bites from both the insects can be harmful at times, so you need to be careful and don’t forget to follow the tips provided here or consult a doctor if you feel uneasy or there are allergic reactions.
So make sure you don’t delay when you notice such bites on your body. If the pain increases or bite gets severe, immediately visit a doctor and take medications or treatment as prescribed.
If you have a mosquito or bed bug infestation that you can’t handle, don’t wait to call us at Control Exterminating. We offer an effective mosquito control and a bed bug exterminator to completely get rid of the pesky critters. ***
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Why Do Mosquitoes Need Blood?
They may be tiny in size but are the cause of some of the most deadly diseases. We’re talking about mosquitoes and their ability to spread diseases like dengue, malaria, and chikungunya. So why do mosquitoes need blood?
Feeding Habits of Mosquitoes
More than a million people die from mosquito-borne diseases every year all over the world. We must understand the feeding habits and why mosquitoes need blood to protect ourselves from them.
At Control Exterminating, we understand the dangers posed by these pests. Our experts are trained to eliminate mosquitoes effectively.
If a mosquito bites an infected human being, it picks up the disease along with the blood. The mosquito then transfers the disease to the next human that it bites.
Why Do They Need Blood?
Only female mosquitoes need blood and bite humans to get it. Since blood is a good source of proteins and amino acids, female mosquitoes drink blood to grow mosquito eggs.
The male mosquitoes fulfill their nutritional needs by feeding on nectar, water, and plant sap, which females feed on as well.
“Since blood is a good source of proteins and amino acids, female mosquitoes drink blood to grow mosquito eggs.”
Why Do Mosquito Bites Cause Welts?
When the female mosquito bites into our skin, it also injects a bit of saliva into our blood to prevent it from clotting. The welt is formed when our skin has an allergic reaction to this saliva.
This welt disappears in a few hours for most people but for some, the allergic reaction is stronger and the welts can stay on for days.
How Do Mosquitoes Identify Their Targets?
Mosquitoes use their senses to identify their victims. They first identify that a target is nearby by identifying the smell of carbon dioxide that we exhale. They then use their vision to differentiate humans from other animals.
“They first identify that a target is nearby by identifying the smell of carbon dioxide that we exhale.”
Why Do Mosquitoes Prefer Certain People?
If you feel that you get more mosquito bites than those around you, you may not be wrong. Mosquitoes do have their preferences. Factors like your blood type, body heat, and pregnancy can make you more attractive to mosquitoes.
- Humans release a chemical through their skin that reveals their blood type. According to recent research, mosquitoes can detect this chemical and generally prefer to feed on the O blood group. So for mosquitoes, blood type is an indicator for choosing their victim.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid, uric acid and ammonia found in our sweat. So, if you are doing some tough physical work and sweating, mosquitoes will find you faster.
- A certain type of bacteria on your skin can attract mosquitoes towards you.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to pregnant women. According to researchers, this may be due to the fact that pregnant women exhale more carbon dioxide.
- One study on mosquitoes has discovered that people who have had a few beers attract more mosquito bites. This may be due to increased ethanol content in their blood.
“Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid, uric acid and ammonia found in our sweat. So, if you are doing some tough physical work and sweating, mosquitoes will find you faster.”
What Are the Signs of a Mosquito Infestation?
- The most obvious sign of a mosquito infestation is the constant buzzing sound that they make.
- If you are being bitten by these tiny bugs when you venture out, you may have a mosquito problem to deal with.
- Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Keep a lookout for their larvae in stagnant water around your homes like water trays or bowls.
A mosquito infestation should not be taken lightly. Mosquito bites can cause a number of deadly diseases.