Life Cycle Of A Mosquito
- The adult mosquito is a pest that breeds in stagnant water bodies, empty containers and chocked gutters.
- The anopheles mosquito transmits malaria parasite known as plasmodium.
- There are over 2500 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world.
- Culex , Anopheles and Aedes are the three main species of mosquitoes that are found in Ghana.
- Male mosquitoes feed only on plant juices(nectar) while the female mosquitoes feed on plant juices for energy and at the same time feed on the blood of human beings and other mammals like goat, cattle etc. in order to lay viable eggs.
- When the female bites to draw blood, they inject some of their salivary glands into the wound, causing swelling and irritation.
- Female mosquitoes fly longer distances than male mosquitoes.
- Most male mosquitoes live a very short time of about a week whilst the females may live up to about a month.
Mosquitoes go through four distinct stages of development of their life time before they mature into adults. These developmental stages are egg →larva→ pupa →adult
The adult female lays eggs directly on the surface of water (stagnant or slow running) after feeding on blood. Adult females lay a raft of 40 – 400 tiny white eggs.
The egg hatch into larvae within 48 hours. Mosquito larvae look like worms with no legs or wings. They live in water and come to the surface to breath through breathing tubes called siphons. Mosquito larvae are also called “wrigglers” or “wigglers”. The larval stage lasts for about 2 – 14 days. The larva eats algae, microorganisms and organic matter in water. During growth the larva molts (sheds its skin) four times. After the fourth shedding, they turn to pupae.
Mosquito pupae are also called “tumblers” because they somersault in the water when disturbed. The pupa stage is a resting and non-feeding stage. This is the time the mosquito turns into an adult. It takes about two days before the adult is fully developed. When development is complete, the pupal skin splits and the mosquito comes out as an adult.
The newly emerged adult rests on the surface of the water for a short time to allow itself to dry and all its parts gets harden. Also the wings spread out and dry properly before it can fly.
NOTE- Low temperature affects the life cycle of mosquitoes.
METHODS FOR CONTROLLING MOSQUITOES
Methods used for controlling mosquitoes are grouped into four. Namely:
- Environmental method
- Chemical method
- Biological method
- Genetic method
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