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How long do mosquitoes live? Everything about mosquito’s lifespan

When got annoyed by mosquitoes, the common question that comes into anyone’s mind is “how long do mosquitoes live?”. This article will answer the most asked questions related to mosquito’s lifespan span.

With the arrival of warm summer, we all meet this annoying, uninvited guest indoors as well as outdoors. Mosquitoes are masters of ruining any sort of activity with their buzzing sound and painful, itchy bites which can leave red bumps on our skin. They distribute several deadly diseases and cause deaths and illnesses for millions of humans worldwide. Which makes mosquitoes, the most dangerous insect in the world. So, being knowledgeable of this creature will beneficial for us to be protected from them.

How long do mosquitoes live?

When actually mosquitoes are going to see their end? This popular question is more complicated than it seems. There are many false facts and myths about the lifespan of mosquitoes. You can’t have a straight answer for that as the lifespan of an adult mosquito depends on various factors like gender, species, region, temperature, and climate.

We know that you badly need at least a rough answer to the question. It can be said that on average, an adult mosquito of a common species can live from 1 to 4 weeks under perfect living conditions. It is considering and normalizing all the factors mentioned above. In most cases, this number is true. But some hardy species are found to live up to 2 to 3 months or maybe more than that.

Most mosquitoes die before their full life expectancy, by blown away by the wind, slapped by humans, being captured by predators like birds, dragonflies, spiders, and due to numerous reasons. It is said that 30% of the adult mosquito population can die per day. Mosquitoes in captivity (perfect conditions without predators) live longer than expected averages compared to the ones who live in the wild.

Remaining mosquitoes live their full life, breeding thousands of newbies. A female mosquito is capable of laying 100 to 300 eggs at once. If it lived her full life, she would have laid eggs up to 3 to 10 times.

As it is unfair to give a common answer to this burning question, let’s go into details and find out how long mosquitoes can live considering the factors of gender, species, region, temperature, and climate.

Gender

A male mosquito resting on a leaf (Image by Egor Kamelev)

One key defining factor of mosquito lifespan is gender. In most common species, male mosquitoes have a shorter lifespan compared to females. Under perfect conditions, male mosquitoes live around 7 to 10 days and then die after contributing to fertilize the eggs.

Under the same perfect conditions, averagely, females live from 6 to 8 weeks or 42 to 56 days to allow more time for reproduction and to lay as many eggs as possible to breed its kind. Females of some species hibernate when the temperature dropped below 50°F and able to stay alive for 6 to 9 months or more than that until preferred climates arrive.

Species

Culex Pipiens mosquito (Image by Franco Patrizia)

As per records, there are more than 3,500 species of mosquito around the world. The lifespan is different for each species.

The Asian Tiger (Aedes albopictus) mosquito can live from 1 to 4 weeks. It’s the most common daytime mosquito species.

The Culex Pipiens mosquito is the most common house mosquito. It is considered one of the main vectors of West Nile Virus (WNV). Depending on the temperature changes, its lifespan can vary from 12 days to 132 days. They are common in cool climates in Northern America, South America, and Africa.

The vector of Malaria and Zika, Aedes Aegypti mosquito can live from 2 to 4 weeks.

The average lifespan of Anopheles (vector of Malaria) species is not more than 2 weeks in nature and it can be more than 1 month in ideal living conditions.

Temperature, Climate, and Region

Mosquito in winter (Image by Erik Karits)

Usually, Mosquitoes prefer warm climates and survive any time of year when the climate is warm enough. The ideal temperature zone for the survival of mosquitoes is from 50°F to 80°F.

Generally, male mosquitoes are not capable of surviving against winter as their body is not strong enough.

Female mosquitoes of some Anopheles, Culex, and Culiseta species hibernate throughout the winter and start reproducing once the warm climate arrives. Some pregnant mosquitoes of that species hibernate with fertilized eggs inside and lay them once they awake in the spring. They can live for more than 6 months including the hibernation period.

The female mosquitoes who could not resist winter, lay eggs on the ground and die. Eggs are hatched with the return of a warm climate.

As per a study conducted using the Culex pipiens mosquito, it was found that they could not survive more than 12 days in warmer temperatures like extreme heat in summer. But in a cool, comfortable summer, it lived up to 129 to 132 days.

As per a research conducted by M. W. Service and H. Towson, It was found that the average lifespan of Anopheles in tropical areas is around 10 to 14 days and occasionally be 21 days. Under laboratory conditions, it was around 34 days.

A Research done in Indonesia revealed that the average lifespan of Anopheles in West Timor ranged from 13 to 20 days. In Central Java, it was less than 4 days.

How long do mosquitoes live indoors?

The indoor lifespan of a mosquito should be longer than one in wild, given that they have access to sustenance and the environment is free from predators, other life threats. Females are the most likely to attract indoors to find their blood meal. It has been found that a mosquito that feeds daily can live from 3 to 4 weeks indoors. This means a female mosquito can survive for around 2 months inside your home.

However, their indoor lifespan can be varied depending on a few factors.

In most of our homes, we use various equipment, repellent products, essential oils, etc. to kill mosquitoes and it would certainly shorten their life.

If the indoor temperature is low, they will perish sooner. In warmer temperatures, they live longer.

There may not be adequate food sources inside your home, especially for male mosquitoes who are entirely fed on nectar and sugary tree juices. If you do not have at least indoor plants, they may die within 1 to 2 days without food. Females can survive on blood from you and your pets for longer times without any issue.

Even it is hard to give a correct answer for this, subject to all the above factors, the maximum indoor lifespan of a mosquito would be around 4 days.

How long do mosquitoes live without blood?

Adult male mosquitoes are used to feed on plant nectar. Drinking blood is not suited to its anatomy. Hence a male mosquito can live his entire life without feeding blood which is around 10 days.

Females also feed on plant nectar. However, they need blood to develop and mature eggs. Hypothetically a female mosquito can live her entire life (around 2 months) without blood, feeding only with plant nectar. But, she will not able to reproduce. It could shorten her lifespan. Once a female mosquito feeds on blood, then she can live maximumly up to 4 days without feeding again. This is again a tricky question to answer and we could say that a female mosquito will able to survive from 4 days to 2 months without blood. Read more here.

How long do mosquitoes live without feeding?

Female mosquitoes of most species hibernate during winter. Adult females of Culex Pipiens and some Anopheles species are found to hibernate in shelters for 8 to 9 months without food until a warmer climate arrives. Males do not hibernate as they cannot withstand the winter.

Mosquitoes do not eat. They only drink. As it was found, during their active lifetime, mosquitoes can only live around 4 days without sugary liquids (nectar or blood) and around 1 to 2 days without water.

Male mosquitoes are only able to live around 2 days without feeding. On the other hand, female mosquitoes can live for more than 6 months (preferably 8 to 9 months) without food. Read more here.

How long does a mosquito live after biting someone?

Insects like bees and stings die right away after they bite someone. But this is not the case with mosquitoes. Females are the ones who will bite humans and they will continue to live even after biting. The blood of another living creature does not poison or harm mosquitoes. They can bite and suck the blood from any number of victims as many times as they need during their lifespan.

How long do mosquitoes live in water?

Mosquitoes live Egg, Larva, and Pupa stages of their life cycle entirely in water. Under perfect conditions, a mosquito lives around 8 to 14 days in water as Egg, Larva, and Pupa. It may vary in the range of 4 days to 4 weeks depending on temperature and species characteristics.

When exposed to water, Eggs are hatched and turn into Larvae within 2 to 3 days. The Larvae stage is there for 4 to 8 days and then develop into Pupae. The Pupae live in water for around 2 to 3 days and then an adult mosquito emerges from the water.

How long do mosquitoes live without water?

The final stage of the mosquito life cycle (“Adult” stage) is the only stage where they live outside water. The adult females still need the water bodies to laying eggs which they need to do every 3 to 5 days.

They don’t need water to absorb nutrients as they feed on blood or plant nectar. But they need water to survive from dehydration. Mosquitoes cannot live more than 1 to 2 days without water. A female who fed on blood recently can live around 4 days without water.

Water is an essential need in the other three stages of the life cycle. Eggs need water to get hatched and without water, they may perish soon by drying out. Larvae and Pupae also spend their entire life in water and feed on microorganisms in water and algae. They will not survive more than a day without water.

If you need to get rid of mosquitoes, the best option is to cut down the water supplies.

When do mosquitoes die?

If a mosquito lived its full life, the average lifespan of a male mosquito is around 10 days, and it’s around 2 months for a female mosquito. This can be further varied depend on the climate, temperature, region, species. But their life can be shortened due to many more other external reasons.

Summing up the things….

Mosquitoes are not actually a seasonal pest. If you are living in a tropical or warm climate region, you will hear their buzzing 365 days a year. The temperature, climate, region, species, and gender are the main deciding factors of their lifespan. Apart from that the environment (wild or captivity) they live in will also affect it. It is very difficult to say an exact period of time for the lifespan of mosquitoes as it depends on various factors. There are many pieces of research done worldwide regard to this you can later search for them if you are more interested in the topic.

We also have many articles written on related topics and feel free to refer to them and comment us your feedback.

Where Do Mosquitoes Live?

What eats mosquitoes? Get to know the predators of Mosquitoes

What do Mosquitoes eat? Everything about Mosquitoes feeding habits

References:

The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA),

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Other sources: 1, 2, 3

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