How Long Do Mosquitoes Live… And What That Means for You

The life cycle and life length of mosquitoes

Wondering if that mosquito you saw flying across your living room last night will die by itself if you leave it alone?

There are several reasons why you might be asking how long mosquitoes can live. At MMPC, we get asked this question quite often, especially when mosquito season peaks in the summer.

In this article, we’ll break down the questions that you’re asking — or should be asking — about mosquito control:

How Long Do Mosquitoes Live (Biologically)?

Under normal conditions, the average adult mosquito generally lives for approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

However, the lifespan of mosquitoes can actually range from weeks to months, depending on the species, environment, and season.

Depending on the Species…

One common species of mosquitoes found in New York, the common house mosquito (Culex pipiens), lives for approximately 10 to 60 days.

Another common species, the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus), has an average lifespan of 30 to 40 days.

Female mosquitoes generally live longer than their male counterparts. Most males only live for a week, while most females can live up to a month.

Only female mosquitoes bite humans and feed on blood; male mosquitoes typically feed on flower nectar and are harmless to humans.

Depending on the Environment…

The environment also plays a role in determining how long mosquitoes live. After all, mosquitoes only reach their full lifespans if they aren’t squashed or eaten by predators first.

Temperature, humidity, and the availability of food sources are all factors that affect the lifespan of mosquitoes in a particular area.

Whenever possible, controlling these environmental factors — for example, by using a dehumidifier or removing standing water — is an important part of mosquito control.

Depending on the Season…

There’s a common misconception that mosquitoes simply die off during the winter.

But in reality, some species of mosquitoes can go into hibernation (called “overwintering“), allowing them to survive out of sight for 6 to 8 months.

That means some of the mosquitoes bugging you in the spring might be the same ones you said goodbye to in the fall.

Indoor harborage can allow mosquitoes to survive twice as long as they would outdoors.

How Long Do Mosquitoes Live Indoors?

If you left your window open and allowed a mosquito to fly in, you might be wondering if you could just wait for it to die on its own.

While mosquitoes that manage to make it to adulthood outdoors survive for an average of 2 to 3 weeks, the average mosquito can survive for up to a month indoors.

Indoor environments are more “ideal” for mosquitoes, because of the lack of natural predators that normally eat them.

Your home has plenty of dark and humid places for mosquitoes to rest, such as under the sink or in closets, garages, and laundry rooms. There’s also plenty of food and water sources that can be found in an average home (think houseplants, kitchens, bathrooms, and garages).

If your visitor happens to be a gravid female, you might be looking at an even bigger problem. After a female mosquito drinks blood, it can lay up to 300 eggs in a single batch.

A mosquito bite on a child's arm; mosquitoes require a blood meal in order to reproduce.

How Long Do Mosquitoes Live Without Blood?

Can you “starve out” a mosquito infestation by escaping on a lengthy vacation?

The answer is no. Even without your blood, mosquitoes will usually live for about 2 to 3 weeks (or longer, in ideal conditions).

Despite what many people believe, mosquitoes don’t actually feed on blood.

Only female mosquitoes bite humans and suck blood, but they don’t do so in order to survive — blood is only needed in order for them to lay eggs. And while human blood is preferred, blood from other vertebrates (e.g. cats and dogs) will also suffice.

For everyday nourishment, mosquito larvae eat algae and bacteria and organic matter in water. Adult mosquitoes require sugar, which they normally get from nectar, fruit juice, and plant sap.

Therefore, depriving the mosquitoes on your property access to blood will not cause them to starve. However, it might stop — or at least slow down — their reproductive cycle.

Mosquitoes require standing water to lay their eggs.

How Long Do Mosquito Eggs Take to Hatch?

Most household mosquito sprays are effective at killing adult mosquitoes on contact. But after intensive spraying, you might find that your mosquito problem isn’t going away.

That means there’s a good chance that mosquitoes are actively breeding in or around your property.

As mentioned above, female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs in each batch. It takes only about 8 to 10 days for these eggs to hatch and develop into adults.

Depending on the species of mosquitoes, breeding behaviors may vary. Many species, like the common house mosquito, lay eggs in stagnant water. You can keep their population under control by eliminating, or regularly cleaning and replacing, sources of standing water.

Using mosquito dunks or larvicides is also a good way to control mosquitoes outside your home. At MMPC, our mosquito control services include installing of special, eco-friendly traps that specifically target mosquito larvae to stop them from repopulating.

Eco-Friendly Mosquito Control in NYC and Long Island

Got other questions about mosquitoes, or need help keeping them away from your property this summer?

The mosquito control team at MMPC is here to help! Call us today at (212) 219-8218 or click the link below to contact us.