The Mosquito Life Cycle
Female mosquitoes deposit eggs singly or in rafts on or near standing water. These eggs are very small, and hatch within a few days.
Mosquito larvae emerge from mosquito eggs. They float near the water surface where they can breathe, but may move in a wriggling motion when disturbed. Mosquito larvae feed on microorganisms and other debris in water.
Mosquito pupae form a protective shell in which they transform from a larvae into a winged adult. During this time they do not feed. They float near the surface of the water, but may move in a tumbling motion when disturbed.
After emergence, the adult mosquitoes briefly rest on the water surface before taking flight. Female mosquitoes need to take a blood meal in order to produce eggs. They will seek out a host by sensing body heat, body scent, and exhaled carbon dioxide. Only female mosquitoes bite; male mosquitoes feed only on plant nectar.
Page last reviewed: April 16, 2023