Mosquitoes are found in almost all land areas in the world, except Antarctica and some isolated islands.
In humid and warm tropical regions, most species are active throughout the year whilst in temperate and cold regions, they are mainly active in summer months.
Both female and male adult mosquitoes feed on nectar (a sweet juice produced by flowers).
The adult female mosquitoes however need to feed on blood in order to obtain nutrients to lay eggs.
Mosquitoes feed on blood of a variety of animals particularly mammals. However their feeding on human blood is most concerned.
The mouthpart of the female mosquitoes are adapted to piercing skin and sucking blood.
In the process of blood sucking, female mosquitoes inject saliva into the hosts in order to prevent blood clotting.
It is the same process where they pass the harmful diseases they carried into human beings.
Mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed.
Although some species are so not fussy about the water quality, some species like the Aedes mosquitoes need clean stagnant water to breed.
Adult mosquitoes normally mate within few days after emerging from the pupal stage.
Male mosquitoes live for about a week and feed on nectar.
Female mosquitoes live for about two weeks.
After mating and obtaining blood, female mosquitoes will rest for few days for digesting the blood and eggs development.
After laying their eggs, this cycle will be repeated until the female mosquitoes die.
A female mosquito can lay up to 200 eggs in a lifecycle.
Eggs are deposited on the water surface.
Even with a high egg mortality rate, a single pair of mosquitoes can create a population of thousands over a period of several weeks.
Mosquito larvae emerge from eggs within one to two days.
Larvae shedding their skin several times to grow to a length of about 2cm.
Most larvae breathe through air tube located at the back of their bodies.
Larvae spend most of their time feeding on algae, bacteria and other microbes.
Within 10 to 14 days, larvae will develop into the pupal stage.
The comma-shaped pupa can swim actively in the water by flipping its abdomen and do not feed at this stage.
As like the larvae, pupa needs to come to the water surface to breathe.
Adult mosquitoes will emerge from pupa after 2 to 7 days.
The life cycle of the mosquito goes through four stages, i.e. adult, egg, larva and pupa.
A: Adult – Adults normally mate few days after emerging from pupal stage. Male lives for few days whilst female lives about 2 weeks.
B: Eggs – Females lay eggs on water surface. Most eggs hatch into larvae within 48 hours. Some eggs can survive dry condition for a year and revive when condition is favourable.
C: Larva – Larvae spend most of their time feeding on algae, bacteria and other microbes. They grow by shedding their skins and go through this process several times.
D: Pupa – Within 10 to 14 days, larvae will develop into the comma-shaped pupae. It will take another 2 to 7 days before a new adult is emerging from the pupa.