Answered: The World’s Most Frequently Asked Questions on Mosquitoes

Kenneth Wilson

Have you ever had any questions or heard tales about mosquitoes? If so, it’s time to find out the answers or whether the saying is true. 

When I first moved to Florida, I was happy to have temperate weather all year long. Unfortunately, this perk comes with a price - mosquitoes. These pests thrive in our climate, especially when we have heavy rainfall combined with warm temperatures. 

Since we have mosquitoes year-round, it’s best to learn more about them. If you have any questions or want to find out more information about mosquitoes, here are the answers to the most common questions on these insects.

Where do mosquitoes come from?

Mosquitoes have been around for around 400 million years. These insects breed in standing water, so any vessels in your home that have collected water can become a breeding ground for these pests. First, the female mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. These eggs will hatch, turn into larvae, morph into pupae, and then become adult mosquitoes.

Even indoor water can become a breeding ground. Mosquitoes can breed in fish tanks if the water is stagnant. Use sponge filters or aerators to create vigorous surface movements which will prevent female mosquitoes from laying their eggs.

What do mosquito larvae eat?

After the mosquito eggs hatch, they will turn into larvae. During this stage, they will eat fungi, plankton, algae, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can be found in the water. There are even mosquito species that will eat another species’ larvae.

When are mosquitoes most active?

These pests are most active during dawn and at dusk or night. Mosquitoes sleep or rest when the sun is out. If you’re imagining a mosquito lying down when it sleeps, that’s not their sleeping position. How they look like when they land on you is similar to their position when they sleep. 

But there are mosquito species that bite during the day. They will feed on you during the morning or late afternoon and will be resting during the middle of the day.

Where do mosquitoes live or hide?

If you want to go mosquito hunting, these pests can be found in sheltered places such as rocks, bushes, thick weeds, tree roots, logs, and holes in trees or the ground. They like cool and dark places, so you may even find them in your basement, closet, hanging clothes or towels, barns, and culverts.

When is mosquito season over?

We may have temperate weather all year long, but we also get mosquito season the whole year. These pests thrive in Florida’s warm and moist climate, which is why it is hard to determine when mosquito season starts or ends in our Sunshine State. At least we know the months in which mosquitoes are most active and that’s during spring and summer. Warmer months combined with heavy rains mean more mosquitoes.

When do mosquitoes die?

Female mosquitoes usually live for 2 to 4 weeks while male mosquitoes survive for 10 days. If you’ve heard that mosquitoes die after biting us, they don’t. After feeding on our blood, they will finally be able to lay their eggs.

Do mosquitoes make a noise? 

Yes, they do. Mosquitoes make a buzzing sound that is produced by the beating of their wings. Male mosquitoes make a lower-pitched sound than females. You probably won’t even hear a male mosquito’s sound because they don’t bite.

Which mosquito bites? Which one is bigger?

As mentioned above, male mosquitoes don’t bite - only the female ones do. Female mosquitoes are also bigger than males and both are considered the smallest creatures in the world.

Why do female mosquitoes bite humans?

Female mosquitoes bite humans because they need our blood’s nutrients such as protein to produce eggs. They are also attracted to carbon dioxide, body heat, and lactic acid, which humans produce. These pests are also attracted to a chemical called octenol, which we don’t produce, but it can be used to control mosquitoes.

How do mosquitoes spread diseases?

Since they tend to feed multiple times to collect as much blood as possible, they can go from human to human. If they drank the blood of a person who has an infection or virus, it is possible to transmit this illness to another person (or animal) that they bite. 

Where do mosquitoes bite?

Mosquitoes can bite anywhere and will target our small blood vessels, but it was found that they prefer our ankles. They are attracted to the bacteria that build up on the skin covering our ankles and feet.

Can mosquitoes bite through clothes?

Yes, they can bite through clothes if it is tight-fitting or thin, even through a cotton shirt. You can try wearing light colors or long sleeves to lessen the chances of them biting you, but they can still bite through it or they will try to find an exposed part of your skin.

Why do mosquito bites itch?

When female mosquitoes bite us, they break the skin and inject their saliva, which is a foreign substance to our body. Our immune system will respond and try to flush it out, which will make the bite swell up or turn red due to histamine. This means the blood flow and white blood cell count increases around the bite, and this can all lead to the itchy feeling.

But not everyone gets itchy after being bitten. Some people are never affected or can now tolerate the mosquito’s saliva.

Why do mosquitoes avoid certain people?

It’s not that these pests are avoiding but they prefer certain people over others. Mosquitoes are attracted to people based on these factors:

  • Clothing color
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Body odor
  • Body temperature
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy
  • Learned to prefer a host

Why are mosquitoes attracted to blue light?

Similar to other flying insects, mosquitoes find certain lights irresistible, specifically ultraviolet lights with a cool and blue tone. They are positive phototaxis insects or bugs who are attracted to light. On the other hand, negative phototaxis insects, such as cockroaches, avoid light. 

Now you know why most insect zappers have a blue-violet-colored light. 

If you want to learn more about controlling mosquitoes, check out these 6 mosquito devices you can use to repel or kill these pests.

Kenneth Wilson
November 22, 2019
Yard & Garden

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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