Like other true flies, mosquitoes undergo a complete metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The larvae are anatomically different than the adult mosquito, it lives in a different habit and feeds on different nutrients. The pupa is a non-feeding stage.
|Mosquito life cycle - Knox County Tennessee|
Mosquito Larvae Videos from the University of New Hampshire - Center of Freshwater Biology
- Mosquito larvae with siphons in air bubble
- Mosquito feeding and cleaning
- Underwater view of vernal pool
The illustration below from a CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) manual shows three of the most common mosquito genera and some of their chief characteristics.
|ANOPHELES AEDES CULEX|
This interesting photograph shows the proboscis of a mosquito. The proboscis is the mouth part of the female mosquito that is used for sucking blood.
Mosquito proboscis - Copyright © 2015 Choo, Buss, Tan and Leal. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). Front Physiol. 2015; 6: 306. Published online 2015 Oct 29. doi: 10.31389/fphys.2015.00306
Sometime insects like the one pictured below are mistaken for mosquitoes. The easiest way to tell the difference between a crane fly and a mosquito is by observing the mouth parts.
|Crane fly - notice the missing proboscis - Texas A&&M AgriLife Extension|
Water is necessary for mosquito development. By eliminating sources of standing water, the number of mosquitoes will be reduced. Listed below are some of the common methods that you and your neighbors can use to reduce the sources of standing water and control the mosquito population in your neighborhood.
- Remove old tires or drill holes in those used for playground equipment to allow them to drain.
- Check boats for holding water, clear drain holes, turn over, cover or increase angle to aid drainage.
- Check tarps on boats or other equipment/items that may collect water in pockets or indentations.
- Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
- Pick up broken, unused or discarded toys that hold water.
- Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
- Replace water in birdbaths once a week.
- Replace water in pet and other animal feeding dishes or troughs at least once a week.
- Fill tree holes (hardwood trees) that hold water with spray, insulating foam sealant.
- Position garbage cans and lids so they don’t hold water.
- Change water in planters, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
- Maintain gutters so water drains properly.
- Monitor all types of drainage pipes/systems for standing water.
- Fix dripping outdoor faucets that create pools of water.
Female mosquitoes find a host by using a combination cues like CO2, vision and thermal sensory information to detect body heat. Mosquito repellents are used to block a female mosquito's ability to detect a host. Listed below is a table the summarizes the effectiveness of various mosquito repellents.
|Table 1. Summary of effectiveness of mosquito repellents reported by Fradin, M. S. and J. F. Day. 2002. Comparative efficacy of insect repellents against mosquito bites. New England Journal of Medicine 347: 13 – 18.|
|Product1||Active Ingredient||Minutes of Complete|
|Off! Deep Woods||23.8% Deet||302||A|
|Sawyer Controlled Release||20% Deet||234||B|
|Off! Skintastic||6.7% Deet||112||C|
|Bite Blocker for Kids||2% Soy oil||95||D|
|Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus||7.5% IR3535||23||E|
|Herbal Armor||12% citronella|
2.5% peppermint oil
2% cedar oil
1% lemongrass oil
0.05% geranium oil
|Green Ban for People||10% citronella|
2% peppermint oil
|Buzz Away||5% citronella||14||E|
|Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard||0.1% citronella||10||E|
|Skin-So-Soft Moisturizing Sun Care||0.05% citronella||3||F|
|Gone Original Wristband||9.5% Deet||0.3||G|
|Repello Wristbande||9.5% Deet||0.2||H|
|Gone Plus Repelling Wristband||25% citronella||0.2||H|
|1May or may not be available for purchase or registered for use in New Jersey.|
2Letters indicate groups of repellents that are statistically similar; e.g., the six repellents in category E are statistically similar to each other.
By eliminating the larval habitats on your property and taking a few simple precautions, you can reduce the threat of mosquito-borne illness and annoyance in and around your home and neighborhood.
Bti for Mosquito Control - US Environmental Protection Agency
Crane flies, not mosquitoes - Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Macroinvertebrate Resources - Stroud Center Water Resources
The American Mosquito Control Association
The Asian Tiger Mosquito - Center for Vector Biology - Rutgers University
Burlington County Mosquito Control Division
Anonymous, 1967. CDC Manual. Pictorial Keys. Arthropods, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals of Public Health Significance. US/HEW, Public Health Service. 192 pp.