Assigning a specific timeline to a mosquito’s life is hard. Generally, the average lifespan of a mosquito is about seven days for males while the female mosquito’s life span is between 48 and 300 days. However, their species, location, and other natural factors determine how long mosquitoes live. We’ll discuss below the crucial factors that answer the question, “How long is a mosquito’s lifespan?”
Types of Food
Female mosquitoes need blood to nourish their eggs, but this is not their only food source. Both male and female mosquitoes obtain nourishment from the nectar found in flowers and the nectar or honeydew found in plants and fruits. These foods typically provide enough sugars to help them survive.
As with different nutritional requirements, different species prefer different types of food. If the availability of the preferred food source becomes suddenly limited, mosquitoes may starve before they can breed.
Availability of Food
Fertilized female mosquitoes can hibernate over the winter, while the males die off. Females need to have a change of diet and gain weight before they settle in for the non-developmental diapause (hibernation) period.
To prepare for sustenance without food in the hibernation phase, female mosquitoes will eat extra sugars to increase their body fat content. This means they will not need to feed again until spring. Late in the season, they will stop searching for humans or animals for blood and instead look for nectar and decomposing fruit as these are laden with sugars. If there are no adequate food sources available, female mosquitoes will die while attempting to diapause.
However even before they reach adulthood, mosquito larvae need to eat to survive. Depending on the species, they feed on microscopic organic particles or even smaller larvae, found in the water in which they live.
Availability of Blood to Breed More Mosquitoes
There are very few mosquito species that do not require blood to produce eggs as they store an adequate amount of energy as larvae. However, most female species require protein to develop eggs. So they take a blood meal and draw protein from it to nourish eggs.
Depending upon their species, mosquitoes can draw blood from various sources, animals, humans, or both. The animal sources include mammals, frogs, and reptiles, to name just a few.
After the female mates, she drinks blood, rests for a few days while the eggs develop, and then lays them. However, she doesn’t need to mate again to lay another batch of eggs; she only needs another blood meal. She lays eggs several times over the summer, so imagine the number of batches or the total number of eggs she lays!
Mosquito Lifespan without Food
Most mosquito species can typically sustain without food for approximately a few months in the dormant stage during the colder months. However, Summer comes, and they need to feed themselves more regularly, and failure to do so due to unavailability of food may result in death due to starvation within a few days. So the life span of a mosquito without food may be quite short.
Mosquitoes cannot breed in very low temperatures. A few species die in cold winters, meaning they can survive only in summer. However, the bad news is they may still be able to lay eggs on the ground or in moist soil before they die. These eggs remain dormant during the colder months but hatch in spring, developing into flying adults within weeks!
Even in the case of other mosquito species that don’t die in the winter, if temperatures drop below 50 degrees, it becomes hard for the mosquitoes to move around and search for food. Without long periods of feeding, they cannot breed and will die. If the eggs are not fertilized or adequately nourished during this period, or the adults die, there will be no offspring for that generation.
In some cases, even as temperatures climb higher, the activity of some mosquito species may even decline. Mosquitoes bite less when it becomes excessively hot, as it poses the danger of dehydration and death.
Some species have evolved so that their breeding preference is limited to contained water. This selective breeding affects their lifespan because if they lack their preferred conditions, then breeding will not occur, stunting reproduction.
Consequently, where standing water is already present, rainfall will disrupt any eggs that have already been laid. This can negatively affect their chances of survival. However, once the rainfall period passes, the resulting puddles can give rise to an increase in the local mosquito population.
Interestingly the males live for only about a week, long enough to mate with the females. In contrast, the average lifespan of a female mosquito is much higher, but fortunately, they may not live up to their potential lifespan, as they risk death from several sources.
They could be eaten by predators like birds, bats, dragonflies, and spiders. In addition, they could be blown away by storms or winds or squashed when they’re trying to drink blood. Humans tend to swat them with any object they may find in their hands as they bite, thus reducing the average lifespan of a mosquito, but trying to kill them individually is not an efficient strategy to get rid of these pests.
Unique Outdoor offers effective mosquito control services including professionally installed misting systems and monthly fogging options – all performed under the supervision of a Certified Applicator licensed in Texas.
Keep Mosquitoes Away Their Entire Lifespan
Although knowing what determines how long a mosquito will live is useful information to us, it shouldn’t have to be to you. Whether they live for a week or an entire year, you won’t have to concern yourself with these pests when you contact us and invest in mosquito prevention services.