All mosquitoes must have water in which to complete their life cycles. Depending on the type of mosquitoes and environmental conditions, they can develop from an egg to adult in as little as 7 – 10 days. Only female mosquitoes bite. A blood meal is needed to fully develop the eggs. Male mosquitoes feed only on plant juices. The female may live three to five weeks during the summer or several months during the winter.
Eggs: Mosquitoes lay eggs in a raft containing 100 to 400 eggs, or singly on the water, or on damp ground where water will later cover them. The eggs hatch in a day or so into larvae.
Larva: The larva or "wriggler" comes to the surface to breathe through a tube called a siphon. It sheds its skin (molts) four times during the next several days. It grows rapidly between each molt. On the fourth molt it changes into a pupa.
Pupa: The pupa or "tumbler" cannot eat. It breathes through tubes on its back. The mosquito grows inside the pupa for about two days, until it is fully developed. It then splits the pupal skin and emerges as an adult.
Adult: The newly emerged adult rests on the surface of the water until it is strong enough to fly.