Typical Pest Species: Mosquitos

The mosquito is a disease carrier and an irritant, but the mosquito is not impossible to control. Understanding mosquitoes biology and the mosquito breeding cycle can result in effective pest control for mosquito infestation. This pesky mosquito is found worldwide, and all over Kansas City.

The mosquito affects humans only in their adult stage, all other mosquitoes stages occur in water. There are about three thousand species of mosquitoes worldwide, approximately 170 species in North America. Breeding sites, biting preferences, time of day they bite and ability to transmit diseases vary with the species.

Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis, egg, larvae (top left,) pupae (center) and adult (bottom) The adult male feeds on nectar and is important only for mating. The female usually must have a blood feast in order to produce viable eggs and that is where the problems begin. They feed on mammals, and humans are among some species favorites. This is annoying and at times unbearable, but not as scary as the diseases some are able to carry. Certain female mosquitoes are capable of being vectors (disease carriers,) of Malaria, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, Dengue, and Dog Heartworm.

Breeding occurs with mosquitoes in any area there is standing water such as stagnant ponds, discarded tires, tree stumps, etc. The more rainfall per season, the more numerous the mosquitoes. With mild winters and excessive rainfalls the possibility of a troublesome mosquito season is more likely.

Complete development from egg to adult varies with species and temperature, but usually takes from 10-14 days. Once the eggs hatch into larvae or wigglers they begin feeding on algae and other organic matter in the water. The larvae develop through four molts and pupate. The pupae do not feed but are mobile spending much of their time near the water surface to breathe, and after one to three days emerge as an adult. The adults mate 24-48 hours after emergence.

The male dies after six or seven days, the female, depending on the species, lives from two weeks to 3 months during the summer. Once she has had a blood meal she will lay her first and largest brood of 50-500 eggs. Subsequent broods will be smaller but there will be 8-10 broods.Consider an average brood of 200 eggs per brood and that this insect can complete its development in less than two weeks, we can obtain in only five generations some 20 million of these pests.