Vampires are real. They're not like us but they live among us.
Even though they grow to just 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch, mosquitoes have notoriously earned the reputation of being the world's deadliest animal.
They're basically responsible for more than 700,000 human deaths around the world every year through the infectious diseases that they spread in each bite.
Apart from the fact that mosquitoes are most active during summer and that they transmit deadly diseases as they suck up your blood, most of us still have a lot to learn about these vampire insects.
But the big question that needs to be answered right now is - "How long do mosquitoes live?"
Read on to learn more...
What Are The Stages in the Mosquito Life Cycle?
Before punching through the specific details of the mosquito life cycle, it is important to establish its substance in our overall fight against these insects.
The mosquito undergoes four distinct stages and each can be dealt with by different types or forms of pesticides. The entire life cycle averages two weeks. However, this can vary depending on the conditions of the environment.
And the four stages that make up the entire mosquito life cycle are:
Contrary to the common misconception that female mosquitoes drink blood from their host out of hunger, these insects need protein and iron found in their host's blood to help them develop eggs.
Mosquito eggs are laid individually or in batches of 50 to 100 forming a raft-like appearance. Water plays a crucial role in the development of these eggs. Culex, Culiseta, and Anopheles mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water whereas Aedes and Ochlerotatus prefer to deposit theirs on damp soil that will eventually be flooded.
Eggs laid directly on the water surface hatches within 2 days. On the other hand, those deposited on damp soil can survive for up to year and hatches as soon as the area gets flooded with water.
As soon as the eggs hatch, the larvae come out. More commonly known as "wrigglers", the larvae hang their bodies upside down and breath through their siphons sticking out to the surface of the water. They also wriggle through the water most of the time.
The larvae feed on algae and other types of microorganisms found on the water. In some cases however, they also live off on fellow wrigglers. The mosquito stays in this stage for seven to 10 days. Within that time, the larva undergoes molting four times before wrapping up itself into a cocoon.
Read Also: How to kill mosquito larvae?
In this stage, the mosquito doesn't do much at all except swim around every once in a while. They don't eat to give way for their development into an adult mosquito.
The pupa looks like a curved body of the shrimp with a considerably large head at the top. The bottom end has flippers to help the pupa swim around or paddle its way to the water surface where it breathes through its two tubes.
Depending on the temperature of the water, the pupa gives rise to an adult mosquito within two to four days.
The fully developed adult mosquito breaks its way to the surface of the water by using air pressure to split open the cocoon. Through the help of water tension and the tiny grooves on their legs, the adult mosquito stands still on the water surface to dry out their wings. They soon fly off to look for food.
Read Also: What're the top traps for mosquitoes?
How Long Do Adult Mosquitoes Live?
Basically, both male and female adult mosquitoes have two main missions and those are to feed and breed. Both mosquitoes feed on plant nectar.
A few days after emerging from the cocoon, their reproductive organs will have fully developed and they're ready to mate. It is at this point in time that female mosquitoes hunt for blood meal to help germinate eggs.
Males can only last for three to five days after passing their sperm to the females. Female adult mosquitoes on the other hand can last for one to two months at a time depending on the conditions of their direct environment.
The following video will tell you more about adult mosquitoes.
Why Do Mosquitoes Die?
Now that you've learned that females mosquitoes feed on blood meal to help germinate eggs, you can brush off the misconception that they die after biting.
Comparatively speaking, male mosquitoes live much shorter lives than the females. Apart from getting swatted by annoyed hosts, mosquitoes die out simply because their time is up.
But bear in mind that a new generation of blood suckers are already on their way right before their adults' numbers are out.
In general, mosquitoes live for about one to two months including the time they spend in the earlier stages of their development. But this lifespan also depends on the environmental conditions. Water kicks off the life cycle and temperature either speeds up or slows down the process.