Termite Tubes: What They Look Like, Where You Can Find Them

The wood home with termites damage
The wood home with termites damage

Do you suspect that you have a termite infestation in your house? The best way to be sure is to look for termite tubes around your property. They’re structures that termites build to facilitate transportation above ground.

But what exactly are you looking for? And where can you find these tubes? That’s what we’ll tell you in this article, along with tips and tricks to prevent a termite infestation.

If you suspect another type of infestation, like bed bugs or carpenter ants, contact us today for a thorough professional inspection!

What Are Termite Tubes?

Termite tubes, also called termite mud tunnels, are tiny hollow structures made from wood shavings, pest droppings, soil particles, and termite saliva. Their main purpose is to provide a safe passage between termite colonies and their food source, thus your house.

Termite mud tubes are most commonly associated with subterranean termites, a type of pests that live in underground caste colonies and feed heavily on wood structures. The unique composition of these tubes renders them a safe haven, as they prevent the entry of dry air and preserve the moisture inside.

Where Can You Find Termite Tubes?

Termite mud tubes can be either visible or hidden. If you’re lucky, they’ll be visible along your house’s exterior walls or foundation, and you’ll find them easily.

If your luck is taking a day off, they’ll be hidden inside cracks in your walls, behind your baseboards, or inside your foundation. In this case, you’ll need a professional pest control inspection to find them before they inflict severe damage on your house.

Types of Termite Tubes

Termite Tubes - termites damage home, macro close up termites on wooden background

Subterranean termites build four types of tubes: swarm, working, drop, and exploratory tubes. Each one of them has a unique appearance and serves a specific purpose. Here’s a detailed rundown of them:

Swarm Tubes

Swarm tubes, also known as swarm castles, are large tunnels constructed by termite workers to accommodate swarmers that are leaving to start new colonies.

Swarmers move frantically, and when they all leave at once, they can cause chaos. To prevent this and keep the tiny creatures safe during their passage, workers build 4-foot-wide tubes and direct the swarmers into them.

These tubes are meant for a temporary purpose, so they aren’t exceedingly strong. Also, they’re less common in houses than the other types.

Working Tubes

Working tubes are the most important type termites use, as they’re the main path between the colony and the food source. They’re not as large as swarm tubes, often stopping at one inch in diameter, but they last a lot longer because of the purpose they serve.

These tubes, also known as utility tubes, are most commonly found inside wood structures, like window frames and wooden decks. They’re long enough to connect two far points, and thousands of termites travel inside them daily.

Working tubes are challenging to find because they’re often hidden, so your best chance to find them is to hire a professional pest control service.

Drop Tubes

Drop tubes have a unique appearance that you can identify immediately, as they look like stalagmites hanging down from a wood structure toward the ground.

Their main purpose is to connect the ground to other tube types, whether swarm, working, or exploratory. This way, termite workers have quick and easy access to the food source without traveling an entire working tube.

These tubes aren’t highly durable, and they’re lighter in color than the other tubes because their main building material is wood. They’re also more visible and easier to identify.

Exploratory Tubes

Unlike all the other types, exploratory tubes don’t connect a food source to a wooden structure. Instead, termites use them to explore new areas and look for reliable food sources, so they take place inside the soil and end abruptly.

However, the bad news is if you spot an exploratory termite mud tube, it’ll most probably be empty. Termites don’t use these tubes for long, and finding them empty means that the tiny pests found a food source inside your house and have already taken residence inside.

Exploratory mud tubes are often a few feet long, and they rise above the soil where you can easily spot them. In this case, you should immediately contact professional pest management services to remove the infestation before significant structural damage happens.

How to Prevent a Termite Infestation

According to the EPA, there are a few tips you can follow to lessen the chance of a termite infestation. Here’s a quick list of the most important ones:

Man's hand finger pointing to cracked corner wall in house. Building problems and solutions concept. Closeup.

  • Fill cracks and crevices in your foundation regularly because termites like to hide there
  • Fix any water leak you have right away because termites love moisture and thrive in wet environments
  • Inspect for termite tubes and colonies regularly to catch any infestation early
  • Avoid planting trees or shrubs right next to any wooden structure around your house
  • Avoid piling firewood or wood shavings around your property

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know Whether the Termite Tube I Found Is Active?

Make a small crack in the tube using a sharp object, then wait for a few days and check it. If the crack is still there, the tube is inactive and empty, but if it’s resealed, there’s termite activity inside.

Should I Destroy a Termite Tube If I See It?

No, you shouldn’t. Destroying a termite mud tunnel will cause the termites inside to build another one in a more hidden place, making it challenging to find it. Also, professional pest services need to see these tubes to determine their types and whether they’re old or new. The best action to take once you see one is to get expert help.

To Wrap Up

Termite tubes are hollow structures that termites build to transport from one place to another smoothly. They come in four types: swarm, working, drop, and exploratory, all of which you can identify if you look closely.

Normally, finding a termite tube around your house entails that there’s an active infestation nearby, in which case you’ll need a professional termite inspection to find it.

If you want to learn more information about pest control, check out our website!

How to Get Rid of Chiggers: A Detailed Guide

Many red bugs on the foundation of the house
Many red bugs on the foundation of the house

Have you ever returned from a hike or a day in the woods with itchy red bumps? If so, you may have been bitten by chiggers.

The worst part about chigger bites is that they’re sometimes invisible. They don’t show up immediately, so you could be scratching for days before you even know what’s causing the itch. And if you ignore the bites, they’ll get infected.

What can you do if you’re dealing with these parasites? You can learn how to get rid of chiggers in bed, yard, and other places on your own. Or, you can contact a professional exterminator like Environmental Pest Management for severe outbreaks.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to get rid of chiggers, from prevention to treatment.

What Are Chiggers?

Chiggers or harvest mites are tiny red bugs that can stick to your skin when you walk in grassy areas. They inject digestive enzymes that dissolve and suck up skin cells—causing a red, bumpy, itchy rash that usually goes away after about two days.

How to Get Rid of Chiggers Naturally

Teen boy mowing lawn grass in yard with lawnmower decorative plants thuja hedge on background in sunny summer day. Dandelions blooming.Children helping in householding and seasonal garden work concept

You don’t have to spend a fortune on chemicals and treatments to prevent chiggers unless you have a severe infestation. Instead, try these natural remedies:

Mow Your Lawn Often

Chiggers live in tall grass, so mowing your lawn will reduce their habitat by killing most larvae before they become adult chiggers and attach themselves to a host.

Mowing also exposes the critters in their hiding space, allowing you to treat and prevent them from spreading to other locations. It’s why cutting grass is always a part of guides on how to get rid of chiggers in yards.

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance made from the fossils of diatoms. It’s a fine, white powder with sharp edges that cut through the chiggers’ exoskeletons, effectively killing them.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on hot spots around your yard to kill the bugs crawling on the ground. Also, apply it to your skin to prevent chigger bites, or add a small amount to your bath water to soothe the itching and swelling.

Use Essential Oils

Some essential oils have insect-repelling properties that work wonders against chiggers. Here are examples:

  • Tee tree oil
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Clove
  • Citronella

To make essential oils effective and prevent them from irritating your skin, dilute them with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba.

Apply Sulfur

Although sulfur won’t kill chiggers, it disrupts their metabolism, repelling them from your yard.

You must use the right sulfur proportions (1 pound of powder sulfur per 500 square feet of lawn) because a light application will spread the bugs to other areas instead of removing them.

Warning: Sulfur is toxic to pets, so if you have any, it’s best to choose a different method for preventing chiggers.

How to Remove Chiggers Using Chemicals

how to get rid of chiggers - spraying pesticide with portable sprayer to eradicate garden weeds in the lawn. weedicide spray on the weeds in the garden. Pesticide use is hazardous to health.

Sometimes natural methods are ineffective against chiggers, especially if you have an infestation. You may need to turn to inorganic or chemical options to kill these parasites. Consider the following methods:

Use Insecticides

Insecticides are most effective at killing chiggers when you apply them directly to hot spots like tall grass and shady areas. Use insecticides with the following chemicals to kill these bugs:

  • Cyhalothrin
  • Bifenthrin
  • Permethrin
  • Carbaryl

Apply Topical Treatments

Use insect repellent with DEET to control chiggers by applying them to your skin about 30 minutes before going outdoors. DEET-repellent is available as a spray, lotion, and stick.

Another option is to use ointments containing ingredients such as permethrin or benzyl benzoate, which are also effective against chiggers.

Chiggers vs. Jiggers: What’s the Difference?

Chiggers are mites from the Trombiculidae family found in warm, humid climates, while jiggers are fleas from the Tungidae family found in tropical and subtropical regions.

Chiggers attach to the skin and feed on your blood, causing itchy bumps, while jiggers burrow into the feet, causing more severe symptoms like pain, swelling, and infection.

How Do Chiggers Attach to a Host?

Chiggers Attach to a Host

Chiggers attach themselves to human skin with their sharp mouthparts. They use their claws to grip your skin and pierce it with blade-like mouthparts called chelicerae, injecting digestive enzymes that break down skin cells so the bugs suck them up.

What Do Chigger Bites Look Like?

Chigger bites look like small red bumps clustered together and are often confused with mosquito bites. They’re itchy and sometimes even painful and are common around warm areas like the ankles, waist, and groin.

What Is the Fastest Way to Treat Chigger Bites?

The fastest way to cure bites from chigger mites is to wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as you notice any swellings or feel intense itching. This will remove any remaining bugs on your skin.

Anti-itch cream or calamine lotion is also effective for relieving the itch. Here are additional tips for curing chiggers bites:

  1. Avoid scratching the bites, as this causes infections.
  2. Take an over-the-counter antihistamine, like Benadryl, to help reduce the itch.
  3. Apply a cold compress to the bites to reduce the swelling and itching.
  4. See a doctor for treatment if the bites are severe.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Chiggers?

No, rubbing alcohol doesn’t kill chiggers. Chiggers are mites and don’t burrow into the skin. So, while rubbing alcohol kills some bacteria, it won’t eradicate the parasites.

Rubbing alcohol worsens chigger bites worse by drying out the skin, making you itch more.

How Do You Stop Chiggers From Spreading?

Chiggers spread from one part of your body to another. To stop them wash your skin with soap and water when you notice a chigger bite. You should also avoid scratching chigger bites because you may spread them.

Check out these extra tips to help stop spreading the parasites:

  1. Wear long sleeves or pants in areas where chiggers are common.
  2. Buy permethrin-treated clothing to protect yourself from chigger bites.
  3. Tuck your pants into your socks.
  4. Apply insect repellent containing DEET or permethrin.
  5. Wash clothes and bedding in hot water if they’ve been exposed to chiggers.

Can I Get Chiggers From Someone Who Has Them?

No, chiggers aren’t contagious. They won’t spread from one person to another through touch, contact with clothing, or sharing beds because they don’t burrow into the host’s exposed skin. They attach to it, feed on the blood, and drop off and die.

How Long Do Chiggers Stay On You?

Chiggers stay on you for 2-4 days after they bite. They are more active in warm weather and need to feed for a specified time before falling off.

If you think you have chiggers, wash your skin with soap and water and apply an anti-itch cream to stop scratching.

Get Rid of Chiggers Today!

If you ignore the signs of a chigger infestation, the problem will worsen. These parasites will continue to bite you, and the bites will become more itchy, leading to infections and severe health issues.

If you’re dealing with pests and parasites like ants, bed bugs, chiggers, mice, fleas, rats, roaches, termites, and other insects in the Twin Cities area, contact Environmental Pest Management. Our control services will help you get rid of chiggers quickly and effectively.

No More Bugs in Your Rugs! Learn About What Causes Carpet Beetles

A portrait of a carpet beetle isolated on a white background
A portrait of a carpet beetle isolated on a white background

You might not be familiar with the tiny carpet beetle, but these bugs can cause irreversible damage to your home. Mostly they prefer clothing and carpet, creating holes, and you might find worms in these areas. So what causes carpet beetles? 

At Environmental Pest Management, we know once you’ve discovered an infestation, you’ll want to get rid of carpet beetles. That’s where we come in! 

We are industry experts. We know what causes carpet beetles and we can kill them and their larvae, so there is no way they can return. 

No one likes to deal with a carpet beetle infestation. Let’s find out a bit more about these insects and how to get rid of them. 

What Causes Carpet Beetles? 

A carpet beetle in gray carpet

Before looking at what causes carpet beetles, let’s describe them. 

The adult carpet beetles are small and black to dark brown. The damage that is caused usually happens in the larvae stage, and they look like tiny little worms. You will find them on your carpet and clothes. 

There are three species of carpet beetles: The Carpet Beetle, The Furniture Beetle, and The Black Carpet Beetle. They are quite the quaint family! 

The furniture beetle prefers wood. This critter often gets inside the home when wood furniture or timber gets brought into the house. They will lay their eggs in the wood so that it can be incredibly frustrating to get rid of them. 

The carpet beetle is considered a common domestic pest. The beetles can damage anything made of natural fibers, so think of furniture, clothing, and carpets. They lay their eggs there, and if you notice holes in items you’ll know their presence. 

The black carpet beetle is reddish-brown and covered with bristles. They will damage your carpets and furniture, so you want to get rid of them as soon as possible. 

Carpet beetles live outdoors and feed on pollen and nectar. They can get into the home through flowers or plants.

Beetles have also been known to get in through cracks in doors and windows. Vents and chimneys are also easy ways for them to make their move inside. 

They love wool, so you may find them in wool clothing or wool rugs. It is devastating to find holes in your favorite wool blanket caused by these tiny scoundrels! 

They may also be attracted to animal hides that may be hanging in the home. Dried flower arrangements and even dog food can attract beetles and give them something to feed. 

How Do You Identify a Carpet Beetle?

What causes carpet beetles? A close up of a speckled carpet beetle.

There are a few identifying factors of a carpet beetle:

  • As stated, they are black to dark brown
  • In length, they are typically 2mm to 5mm long
  • All varieties are oval-shaped
  • They have short looking clubbed antennae

Wondering if carpet beetles are harmful? Likely not, but some people have allergies to insects. 

If you are allergic, you may have red, itchy eyes, a runny nose, or hives. If that is the case, it is imperative to have a professional pest controller take care of the infestation quickly. 

Having a difficult time finding the buggers? They are attracted to light, so try looking where the light source is, and you may find them crawling around. 

The larvae, however, are laid in the dark and take over a year to develop into beetles. Carpet beetle larvae are more destructive than the beetle stage, and that’s a good reason why a professional may be required to help out with carpet beetles and larvae in the home.

But How Do You Get Rid of Carpet Beetles? 

What Causes Carpet Beetles? Keeping an unclean home can attract these pests. Someone vacuuming their rug in order to prevent carpet beetles.

Getting rid of carpet beetles takes persistence and patience. 

To start, you should use an insecticide or a pesticide inside and around the perimeter of the home. Indoors, not only should furniture and carpet be vacuumed but steam cleaned as well. Infested items should be bagged for 24 hours then washed. 

Wash any stained clothing. If there are any beetles left around, they won’t want to feast upon anything clean and fresh. 

Also, seal up food in tight containers for now and keep all flowers outside of the home. 

You can also always call in pest control to handle the situation, so you do not have to yourself. 

What will pest control do to control the infestation? 

  • First, they will likely vacuum the whole area well, including window sills and around the door.
  • After that, they go over the vacuumed area with a steam cleaner.
  • A potent insecticide is then sprayed over the infestation area. Ingredients may include deltamethrin, bifenthrin, or cyfluthrin, as these work magic against carpet beetles.
  • Boric acid, which is powerful against carpet beetles, is then used over the area.
  • It is suggested to then go over all the home areas with rubbing alcohol, including doors, window sills, ledges, and baseboards. 

How Can I Keep Carpet Beetles From Returning? 

Someone putting their clothing in vacuum sealed bags to prevent carpet beetles

Now that they are out, how can you keep them out? 

For one, wash clothing well and store it properly in sealed bags from season to season. Always wash linens and towels regularly, so all is fresh and clean. You can add cedar strips or mothballs when you are storing items to help keep critters away. 

It’s okay to use an insecticide around the outside of the home at the advice of a pest control expert. Talk to us about how often routine maintenance is required. 

Never let holes or tears in windows go unrepaired and fix any broken sills from windows and doors. Those can be entry points for lots of Minnesota bugs

Call In The Experts For Your Carpet Beetle Woes

Someone using their cell phone to call pest control experts to help with a carpet beetle infestation.

Now you are an expert in the cause of carpet beetle infestation and how they are managed. Do you want to tackle this on your own?

You may want to leave it to professionals. That’s why we are here! 

Environmental Pest Management can handle whatever pest issue you have so it is no longer causing stress in your life. 

Summer is back, and the bugs are going to be in full force! Contact us for information, with questions, or for a quote today!

Keep an Eye Out For These 7 Types of Ants in Minnesota

A very closeup portrait of an ant isolated on white.
A very closeup portrait of an ant isolated on white.

Spring has sprung in the Midwest, unleashing a plethora of pests, including – ants! Environmental Pest Management knows everything about ants (and whatever else is bugging you). And are here to help discuss the types of ants in Minnesota. 

They’ve been in the business since 1986, and service the Twin Cities metro area, its surrounding suburbs, and parts of western Wisconsin, too. 

Whether your ant infestation is at home or work, Environmental Pest Management is here to handle whatever’s bugging you. Contact them today for a FREE quote.

Common Types Of Ants in Minnesota

A colony of ants drinking from a drop of water.

In Spring, ants are eager to find a food source and a nice place to live. Their presence can be a big problem until you call a pest control professional. Environmental Pest Control has helpful ways that you can prepare your home for warmer weather.

Although there are 12,500 different ant species, only about ten call Minnesota home. If you see red ants, don’t freak out! It’s doubtful that they’re Imported Fire Ants.

Here are the most common types of ants in Minnesota:

Carpenter Ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) 

These ants are some of the biggest you’ll encounter! Reaching 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch in length, they are usually black or brownish. They may also have long yellow or gray hairs.

Cornfield Ants (Lasius alienus) 

Often mistaken for Carpenter Ants, Cornfield Ants are pale to dark brown but can also be red, black, or a mixture of colors. They range in size from 1/10-inch long to 1/4-inch long. Unlike Carpenter Ants, this odorous house ant emits a nasty odor when crushed.

Field Ants (Formica spp.)

These ants are medium-to-large in size, ranging from 1⁄5 to ⅜ inches in length. Their color can vary as some are black, while others are a combination of black and red. Although these ants don’t nest in your home, they build large ant mounds in your yard, which are unsightly and problematic.

Larger Yellow Ants (Acanthomyops interjectus)

If you smell lemons when you kill or disturb these ants, you’ve got Larger Yellow Ants in your home. These ants range in color from yellow to brownish-red, and workers grow to around 3/16-inch long.

Pavement Ants (Tetramorium caespitum)

Pavement ants are a bit like watching “Game of Thrones.” These warring ants fight each other over territory. The pavement ant only grows to 1/8-inch in length and has a reddish-brown or black body. Furrows line the heads of pavement ants from top to bottom.

Pharaoh Ants (Monomorium pharaonis)

These tiny-but-mighty ants are about 1/16-inch long with pale yellow to red bodies with a darker color in their middle sections. They are often mistaken for other ant species.

Thief Ants (Solenopsis molesta)

These little buggers measure about 1/10-1/16 inches. They may have a range in color from yellowish to brown. One unique feature is that their antennae have ten segments with a two-segmented club. In comparison, Pharaoh Ants have 12 segmented antennae ending with a three-segmented club.

Spring Cleaning to Help Prevent Ants

A woman wearing a denim shirt and blue rubber gloves wiping down her counter and spring cleaning to help prevent ants.

As we’ve mentioned, Spring is the time ants become active again. Now is an excellent time to go through the following rooms to check for signs of ants and other pests:

  1. Bathroom 
  2. Basement
  3. Kitchen
  4. Outside

It is also wise to check the seals around your doors and windows. Ants are persistent, creative creatures and can easily find their way into seemingly closed-off homes.

Sometimes a deep cleaning and good ol’ ant traps are all that’s needed to get rid of ants. You think you clean up well enough, but they come back before you know it, and further, any control is needed. That’s the time to call Environmental Pest Management for a free quote. 

What Ants Prefer

Carpenter ants on a piece of wood

  • Carpenter Ants: These ants love wood and wooden structures, especially rotting, wet or damaged wood. They’ll tunnel through the rotting wood to build their nests under your bathroom floor, roof, or behind walls. Carpenter Ants love grease, meats, and anything sweet. 
  • Cornfield Ants: OUCH! Did you know the Cornfield Ant bites? Luckily, the bite isn’t serious and merely causes a slight itch or stinging. True to their name, Cornfield Ants prefer to nest outdoors. These ant nests leave unsightly craters in lawns or planters as the colony increases. If you’ve found Cornfield Ants in your home, it means you have moisture in your home’s wood.
  • Field Ants: Like Cornfield Ants, these sizeable ants create mounds in open areas like lawns and meadows. Although they don’t nest in homes, they may find a way inside when swarming or searching for food. Common points of entry are loose weather stripping and cracked windows. Ant nests built close to the foundation may also enable ants to enter your home quickly.
  • Larger Yellow Ants: These nocturnal ants get busy at night. Like Pavement Ants, these pests often nest under concrete or home foundations. Although they don’t damage masonry, they can be very tricky to control once established.
  • Pavement Ants: These ants love greasy foods and sweets like most other pest ants. They often enter homes through the nests that they build under concrete slabs and homes with concrete foundations. They also like to nest under heated slab foundations throughout the winter.
  • Pharaoh Ants: Pharaoh ants feast on high-fat and sugary foods. They also enjoy a good snack of soap, toothpaste, and other hygiene products. If you notice them coming back again and again, it’s because they leave a pheromone trail to show other ants where your goodies are. The ants will infest your food stores in large numbers if they find food in the same spot twice.
  • Thief Ants: Thief Ants get into your home through cracks in your woodwork, holes in walls, and open doors. These ants feed on greasy foods high in protein or sweets. During your Spring cleaning, make sure to check your children’s room to make sure there’s no candy hiding under the bed or in the closet. 

Help Is On The Way

A pest specialist spraying for ants in a customer/s kitchen.

If infestations are hard to manage yourself, it’s best to call in the past professionals at Environmental Pest Management. They’ll immediately identify the problem and fix it. Contact them today for your FREE quote.

A Helpful Guide About the Mosquito Lifespan

A mosquito isolated on a white background.
A mosquito isolated on a white background.

Understanding the Mosquito Lifespan: A Comprehensive Guide

In the United States, there are 176 species of Mosquitoes. And in Minnesota, you know that summertime is ubiquitously associated with slapping those persistent pests. If you do nothing to eliminate the bugs, just how long is the mosquito lifespan? 

If you do not want to find out, then Environmental Pest Management has some options for you. Finding solutions to decrease the summertime bugs is just one of our specialties. 

If you have a curiosity about the mosquito, then read on to learn a little more about the lifespan of one of our most famous summer nuisances. 

Learn More About the Mosquito Lifespan 

A diagram depicting the stages of the mosquito lifespan.

Some mosquitoes can live up to six months long, from laying the eggs to the buzzing whine of a skeeter in your ear. Did you know that mosquitoes have a 4-stages of growth? 

Mosquitoes can breed and live in any standing water source, whether natural or human-made. 

Mosquito eggs have been found deep below the ground in mines and even on mountains at 14,000ft. Understanding how they develop is crucial to understanding how to manage their presence in your yard. 

You may not be aware of where these sneaky buggers are breeding near your home, but pest control experts can find them. 

Some mosquito species are referred to as “floodwater” species, meaning they lay their eggs in temporary water sources created by rain or flooding. Others are called “permanent water” species, which indicates they lay their eggs in water sources that are long-standing like ponds. 

Despite the 300 different mosquito species worldwide, they all develop the same way. There are four stages of mosquito growth: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. 

Water is necessary for development as both the larva and pupa stages happen aquatically. 

The Stages of the Mosquito Lifespan

Mosquito Eggs

An illustration of a mosquito egg raft.

The female mosquito will lay her eggs either on the surface of standing water or right at the edge of the waterline. She could find this water inside a tree hole, a pond, a birdbath, exposed potholes in riverbed rock, or an old bucket that has collected rainwater. 

The egg development phase takes only a few days before they are ready to hatch, depending on how warm the temperature is. If the water source evaporates or if the eggs are laid outside of water, the eggs will become dormant until the needed hatching conditions occur. 

This could take years in some situations, even overwintering until the eggs are back in the water again. They must be in or very near water to hatch. 

Mosquito Larva

Mosquito larvae underwater. Larvae is just one portion of the mosquito lifespan.

Once the eggs have hatched, the mosquito begins the larval stage of development. The larva hang suspended from the surface of the water in clusters. They require oxygen, so an air tube or siphon protrudes from their body and extends towards the surface. 

It acts much like a snorkel, allowing them to breathe. 

The larva filter-feed micro-nutrients for sustenance and swim deeper if needed to escape from a predator. The shape of their body creates an S motion as they swim. Because of this, they are nicknamed “wigglers” or “wrigglers.”

The larva will shed its exoskeleton four times before entering the next stage of development. This process can take 4-14 days, depending on the species, water temperature, and the amount of food available to them. 

Pupa Stage 

A mosquito pupa hanging beneath the water's surface.

Once the mosquito has developed to the pupal stage, it no longer needs to feed. It does still need to be in the water to survive. They also still need to breathe oxygen, so the pupas remain close to the surface. 

They are, however, becoming more physically active. The pupas use a rolling or tumbling motion to escape to deeper water if needed. This motion warrants them the common nickname of “tumblers.” 

The mosquito pupae are in this form for 1.5-4 days before they are ready to shed their exoskeleton one final time. 

Adult Mosquitoes 

An adult mosquito isolated on a white background. The adult stage is one of the four stages of the mosquito lifespan.

Once the pupa sheds its skin, it emerges as a fully formed adult mosquito. There are male and female mosquitoes, which lead very different lives. 

The male mosquitoes linger near the breeding site after hatching because reproduction is hardwired for survival. 30% of newly hatched adults will die within the first day, so their instincts have evolved to make them breed as fast as possible. 

How long do mosquitoes live? The male mosquito’s lifespan lasts 6 or 7 days. 

For the female, that quick turnaround isn’t easy. She has to eat before she can lay more eggs. 

While the male subsists entirely on plant nectar, the females need blood meals. Before laying her eggs, she needs to drink blood and plant nectar. 

How long do female mosquitoes live? Surprisingly, female mosquitoes can live upwards of 6 months, but generally, their lifespan is about six weeks. 

These flying insects will travel between one and ten miles for a blood meal. Some species can travel upwards of 40 miles. After each blood meal, the female mosquito will lay her eggs or oviposit. 

Some will complete this cycle several times in their lifespan, and some will lay their eggs only once.  

Why are they attracted to humans?

A mosquito biting a human.

Two main factors attract mosquitoes. Scenting carbon dioxide and heat are primarily how these flying insects hone in on their prey, whether human or animal. The source does not matter to them. 

The itchy bites are only one source of frustration from this pest. Mosquitoes also can transmit viruses and diseases, making them deadly in some areas of the world. The mosquito is most infamously associated with West Nile Virus and Zika Virus. 

Making Peace with the Pest

Mosquitos dead after flying into a light bug trap.

These summertime visitors are impossible to avoid, but there are ways to manage their presence. Understanding the mosquito lifespan can help pest control experts to disrupt it. 

We can help prevent more mosquitoes from hatching near your home so you can enjoy your summer in peace. 

Our team of master licensed technicians at Environmental Pest Management can help you manage the insects near your home. While there is no way to get rid of them entirely, there are very executable methods to ensure you are doing what you can to keep them at bay. 

Contact us at Environmental Pest Management to learn more about how we can help you today.