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Mosquitoes in St. Louis

Life Cycle

Mosquitoes have a four phase life cycle which can take four days to a month to complete with the female adult mosquito living up to 8 weeks.

  • EGGS: Eggs are laid typically in still water. The dirtier the water the better for the mosquito vitality. One female mosquito can lay 300 eggs in a teaspoon of water.
  • LARVA: The larva lives in water and comes to the surface to breathe using siphon tubes while hanging upside down. During this phase, larvae feed on organic material in the water.
  • PUPA: Looking like tumblers the pupae flip through the water using their tails. A pupa does not eat. Eventually its skin splits and an adult mosquito emerges.
  • ADULT: The adult mosquito lays on the surface until its body dries out and wings harden. In two to three days the adult mosquito is ready for her first blood meal and to find a mate.

Did You Know...

  • The female mosquito “bites” by inserting her proboscis into the skin of animal hosts. She obtains a necessary blood meal for protein to lay eggs.
  • A female mosquito can produce over 400 million progeny in a single season even if only 25% of each generation survives.
  • Itchy bumps from mosquito bites are allergic reactions caused by the saliva of the mosquito, which acts as an anti-coagulant.
  • Mosquitoes have a heightened sense of smell, which leads them to humans. They are attracted to chemical odors that our bodies emit including CO2 and sweat.
  • Ladies attract more mosquitoes along with beer drinkers.
  • Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal in the world due to the malaria carrying parasite that they transfer. They are responsible for the deaths of two million people per year.
  • Mosquitoes have been around for 200 million years.
  • A full moon has shown to increase mosquito activity by 500%.
  • Over 50 species of mosquitoes live in Missouri. The Culex and Aedes species are the most prevalent.

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