Mosquito Biology

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several dead mosquitoes in a petridish on a ice scope

Mosquito Life Cycle

Mosquitoes go through complete metamorphosis comprised of several steps.

  • First, a female will lay eggs singly or in a raft on some source of stagnant water.
  • Eggs grow to be larvae, which breathe air from the surface, but seek protection near the bottom of the water.
  • Larvae consume organic matter from their environment until they develop into pupae which do not eat.
  • After further development, pupae emerge from the water as adults which then fly away.

The four stages of the mosquito life cycle with half being in the water and the adult and egg on the surface

Breeding Sites

Mosquitoes breed in ditches, birdbaths, bromeliads, lawn ornaments, swamps, mangroves, abandoned pools and many other places. Mosquitoes rarely lay eggs in ponds or lakes, as there is a wealth of natural predators that consume the larvae. 

The first step to mosquito management is to prevent breeding sites. It's important to dump all containers several times each week to prevent sitting water. Property owners may consider removing bromeliads (shown in the image below) as they can harbor several hundred larvae.

 Property owners may consider removing bromeliads

Mosquito Species

Sarasota County has over 30 species of mosquitoes, which have different host preferences, breeding habitats, and population trends. Mosquito Management identifies issues to prevent and treat them in a way that is specific to the species causing the problem.