Mosquito 101 and Useful Internet Resources

Mosquitoes are one of the most important and common insects that can affect humans and their activities. Mosquitoes can be detrimental to people due to their potential for becoming a nuisance and by spreading disease causing pathogens. Mosquito-borne pathogens can cause diseases such as West Nile Virus, malaria, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis. Worldwide, these diseases afflict and kill millions of people each year. Therefore, it is important for individuals and communities to take actions to control mosquito populations to help reduce the potential for mosquito-borne disease transmission.

Mosquitoes have four stages of their life cycle. The first three stages are egg, larva and pupa, which all take place within water. The final stage occurs when the mosquito pupa hatches into an adult mosquito that takes wing and flies from the water. Therefore, mosquitoes depend on standing water, also known as a breeding habitat, for reproduction purposes. The most effective integrated mosquito control programs focus on controlling mosquitoes before they reach the adult stage.

In Colorado, a mosquito can complete its aquatic life cycle in as little as five days depending on the water temperatures and food supply available to them. Breaking their life cycle within this time period is typically the most effective and efficient means of mosquito control. Two primary methods of achieving this are through habitat source reduction and larval control. For tips on ways to reduce mosquito breeding sources, please see our Mosquito Tips for the Home web page.

There are many resources available with more detailed information concerning mosquitoes and mosquito control that can be found on the World Wide Web. OtterTail recommends the following links as good resources for further information: