Mosquito Biology

Mosquito Trapping

Life Cycle

Mosquitoes have four separate stages in their life cycle. They begin as eggs that are laid atop bodies of water either singularly or in clusters called “rafts”. The eggs then hatch underwater and are called larvae. Larvae go through four stages of their own called “instars” before molting into pupae. It is in the pupal stage that the adult mosquito begins to form. Within a few days the cycle will be complete with the adult emerging on the surface of the water.

Mosquito Biting

Biting and Breeding Habits

Mosquitoes feed primarily on nectar but the female must take a blood meal before she can produce her eggs. The male mosquito does not need a blood meal and therefore does not bite. Females only mate once, after which they are capable of producing eggs on their own (with the help of another blood meal of course). Female mosquitoes typically live for about a month, but can produce up to 1,000 eggs in their lifetime.

Mosquitoes in Ohio

Mosquitoes in Ohio

There are over 60 different species of mosquitoes in Ohio. It is important to remember that not all mosquitoes carry diseases and most prefer not to bite humans. There are however, several species known to carry diseases such as West Nile virus, La Crosse and St. Louis encephalitis.

Here are some common vector (disease carrying) mosquitoes in Ohio:

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Culex pipiens

Primary vector for West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis
Active in the evening

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Aedes triseriatus

Primary vector for La Crosse encephalitis
Active during the daytime

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Aedes albopictus

Vector for Chikungunya
Active during the daytime

Disease is not present in Ohio but is of concern because this aggressive mosquito is an excellent disease vector

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Aedes aegyti

A proven vector for Zika and Chikungunya

Although it is reported that this species has been found in Ohio, Franklin County Public Health has not found or trapped Aedes aegypti.


For more information about mosquito borne diseases, please visit the CDC's website.