How significant is a rain storm to mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes need water to breed. A rain storm will produce ample breeding sites so the day of a storm and then 5-6 days later, it’s game on for mosquitoes! Here is why…
The life cycle of a mosquito is odd in that two of the life cycles are in water. We all know of adult mosquitoes flying around, biting us, making us miserable. But the larvae and pupae stages are submerged in water. That’s where the rain comes in.
Standing water after a rain can be obvious (like puddles) but there are many spots in people’s yards with nooks and crannies that catch water. Some that are often overlooked are basins underneath flower pots, children’s toys, clogged gutters, grill covers and even large leaves can collect enough water to breed mosquitoes.
The female mosquitoes produce eggs in bunches of up to 300 (called rafts) and lay them directly on the water surface of stagnant or still water. Only 1 teaspoon of water is needed to support mosquito breeding. Think of all the places that can hold a teaspoon of water!
The eggs hatch within 24 – 48 hours into mosquito larvae that are known as ‘wigglers’. The larvae feed on microorganisms in the water such as algae, bacteria, fungi, etc. by sweeping all available food into their submerged mouths. Periodically, they come up to the surface to breathe through a straw-like part called a siphon.
Larvae become pupae within 4 – 14 days depending on the water temperature (warmer water means shorter breeding times). The pupae stage has no feeding as the metamorphosis into adult occurs. The pupae floats on the surface of the water and after 1-4 days in the pupae stage, the adult mosquito emerges.
If there is a big rainstorm, there will be many places with standing water that mosquitoes will find. Adult females require protein to be able to produce eggs and that protein comes from blood. They can bite humans, livestock, birds, etc. so after a rain, females immediately start looking for a blood meal which can be you!
Then within 5 or 6 days, a bumper crop of mosquitoes will hatch to start the entire process over again. And again. Females can lay up to 300 eggs every three days and can live for up to two months. Now that is a lot of blood suckers!
It’s all about the rain for mosquitoes.
And 5-6 days.