Mosquitoes are insects with two wings. There are over 3,500 different species of mosquitoes found in the world; over 80 of these species are found in Florida. 45 species have been found on Panama City Beach, each of which has a different habitat, behavior and preferred source of blood. Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance as biting insects, but are also involved periodically in transmitting diseases to humans and animals.
Mosquito Life Cycle: There are 80 species of mosquitoes in Florida and each one has a different biology. Adult females vary widely in size. For example, the Asian tiger mosquito, which is common in Florida, is among the smallest. Other mosquitoes you are likely to find in your yard and house are usually larger in size than the Asian tiger mosquito. And the largest mosquitoes that you see do not bite humans or animals at all. Adult females can live from 2 to 14 days while the males live only long enough to mate usually 3 or 4 days. Want to learn more about adult mosquito identification? Visit the FMEL identification site
Only female mosquitoes bite. They need the protein in blood to produce eggs. A female can produce as many as 250 eggs from one bloodmeal. After the eggs are laid, they may hatch in a couple of days or it may be months before they hatch.
Mosquito larvae The larva, or wiggler, emerges from the egg and grows from 1/16 to 1/4 inches in length in 4 to 10 days, depending on the temperature of the water they grow in and food supply.
Mosquito pupae The next stage is the pupa, or tumbler. This stage lasts only about 2 days. During this time the mosquito transforms from the aquatic larva into the flying adult. The pupa does not feed.
Female mosquitoes can transmit diseases when they bite. In Florida, mosquitoes can transmit eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and dog heartworm. In the past, mosquitoes were responsible for epidemics of malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever in Florida. These diseases have been eliminated from the state thanks, in part, to organized mosquito control programs. Mosquitoes DO NOT carry AIDS, hepatitis or leukemia.
Protection against the mosquito bite is taught by teaching the 5 D’s: