Adult mosquito by calafellvalo

There are approximately 2,700 species of mosquitoes world wide. Fortunately, only 52 species are found in Massachusetts.  Mosquitoes have the following life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.


  • Most female mosquitoes need the nutrition from blood to develop their eggs.

  • Not all mosquito species bite humans and other mammals.  Some mosquitoes prefer to blood feed on birds, reptiles and amphibians and others do not blood feed.

  • Males feed only on nectar.

Mosquito lifecycle

Mosquito depositing eggs


  • After a blood meal it takes several days for the female to develop her eggs.
  • Eggs can be deposited either on the surface of the water or on the edge of the water.
  • Eggs are deposited in stagnant water such as in containers, wetlands or flood plains.
  • Hatching may occur after a few days.  It may also be triggered by environmental factors such as day length or flooding.
  • Most mosquito species overwinter in the egg stage.

Mosquito larva


  • All larvae live in stagnant water.
  • Larvae filter feed on organic material in the water.
  • Obtain oxygen from the air using their siphon. The siphon is located at the tail end of the larva.
  • All mosquito larva go through 4 distinct growth stages called instars. Each instar is bigger than the previous instar.
  • Depending on the species the larval stage can last 1-2 weeks or most of a year.