Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Learn about the life cycle of mosquitoes and how they carry the West Nile Virus. Be sure to disrupt their breeding cycle around your home!
Mosquitos are technically part of the Diptera group - "true flies". They are normally harmless, eating nectar. However, eventually the female mosquito gets ready to lay her eggs. In order to lay them properly, she needs some protein in her diet - and she gets that from an animal's blood.
Each type of mosquito has a certain type of creature it likes to get blood from. Some like birds, some like mammals, and so on.
Once a female mosquito gets her blood, she usually lays about 300 eggs together in a still body of water. So one way to stop the breeding cycle is to remove all stagnant water from your property. Empty out puddles, put aerators in any water gardens.
Eggs normally hatch in 2 days, and the larvae develops for another 2 weeks. When they become adults, they begin mating in only a day or two. They have to mate and lay eggs quickly - most adult mosquitoes only last 2 weeks before dying!
Eggs and mosquitoes around at the end of a season (Sept) will hibernate, to come back to life the following May.
The mosquitos that bite birds are usually different than those which bite mammals. However, the mosquitoes that infect the birds will cause a few of those birds to die. Other mosquitoes might find the dead bird an 'easy meal' that would normally not go after birds - and then move on to bite animals too.
Birds do NOT give West Nile Virus to humans. If anything, birds are the 'canary in the coal mine' that alert humans to where mosquitoes with West Nile are active.
Anti Mosquito Information
West Nile Virus Information