Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Home Up Feedback Contents Search

Mosquitos
General FAQ Mosquitos Virus & People Virus & Birds

 

 

 

Mosquitoes

  1. Do all mosquitoes bite humans?
  2. Do all mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus?
  3. Why are some people bitten more than others?
  4. Where do mosquitoes live?
  5. How far can a mosquito travel?
  6. How long do adult mosquitoes live?
  7. What is the life cycle of a mosquito?
  8. What is the egg phase of a mosquito?
  9. What is the larval stage?
  10. What is the pupa stage?
  11. What is the adult stage?
  12. Why do mosquitoes make a buzzing noise?

Do all mosquitoes bite humans?

No, only adult female mosquitoes bite humans.  Male mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices only.  Most female mosquitoes feed on humans, birds, and other animals to get sufficient blood to develop eggs.

Back to Top

Do all mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus?

While there are many species of mosquitoes, the adult Culex pipiens mosquito (the common house mosquito) is the one most commonly associated with the West Nile virus.

Back to Top

Why are some people bitten more than others?

There are many factors.  Cologne, perfumes and scented body lotions can attract mosquitoes.  Dark colored clothing is also more attractive to mosquitoes.  During evenings, nighttime and dawn, mosquitoes are most active in searching for blood, so people outdoors during that time are more likely to be bitten.  Finally, everyone's body is different, and some people produce odors more enticing for mosquitoes.

Back to Top

Where do mosquitoes live?

The Culex pipiens mosquito (the common house mosquito) lays its eggs in standing or slow-moving water.  Weeds, tall grass, and bushes provide an outdoor home for the adult Culex pipiens mosquito.

Back to Top

How far can a mosquito travel?

Depending on the species, adult mosquitoes may fly several miles with help from the wind.  Culex pipiens, the species most commonly associated with the West Nile virus, has a travel range of two to three miles.

Back to Top

How long do adult mosquitoes live?

Generally, adult female mosquitoes have a life span of 2 weeks to a month while adult male mosquitoes only live a week.

Back to Top

What is the life cycle of a mosquito?

A mosquito goes through four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  This life cycle, from birth to death, is about a month long.

Back to Top

What is the egg phase of a mosquito?

Eggs are laid in clusters and float on the surface of water.  They can be stuck together in rafts of hundreds, or laid separately on water or flooded soil.  Most eggs hatch into larvae within 48 hours.

Back to Top

What is the larval stage?

Mosquito larvae live in water from 4 to 14 days, depending on the water temperature.  They come to the surface frequently to obtain oxygen.  They feed on algae and small organisms living in the water.  The larva sheds its skin four times while it grows.  After the fourth time, the larva becomes a pupa, the stage before the mosquito becomes an adult.

Back to Top

What is the pupa stage?

The pupa stage is a resting, non-feeding stage.  Mosquito pupae must live in water from 1 to 4 days, depending on the species and water temperature.  When development is complete, the pupal skin splits and the mosquito emerges as an adult.

Back to Top

What is the adult stage?

The newly emerged adult mosquito rests on the surface of the water for a short time to dry and allow its parts to harden.  If nothing eats or kills it, the female adult can live up to a month, the male only a week.

Back to Top

Why do mosquitoes make a buzzing noise?

Mosquitoes flutter their wings very fast, some as much as 250 times per second, producing a high-pitched buzz.

Back to Top

Send mail to ChrisJWallace@aol.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Prepared for BIOG 154 Microscopic World -- Dr. Harry Kestler
Lorain County Community College -- Last modified: 04/18/03 -- Don't click here.