Mosquito Facts

Insect Trivia

Q. What is Oregon’s state insect?
A. The Swallowtail Butterfly

Q. What is the most dangerous insect?
A. The mosquito because it carries so many deadly diseases

Q. How long does it take for a Mosquito to “hatch”?
A. Only seven days are required to complete their life cycle (egg to adult mosquito) during warm weather

The “tree hole” mosquito can breed and develop in the small amount of water that collects in holes or crevices of trees

Life Cycle of a Mosquito


Mosquit life cycle



The most common mosquitoes lay egg rafts that float on the water. Each raft contains from 100 to 400 eggs. Within a few days the eggs hatch into larvae.


The larva or “wiggler” comes to the surface to breathe through a tube called a siphon. It sheds its skin or molts four times during the next several days. It grows rapidly between each molt. On the fourth molt it changes into a pupa.


The pupa or “tumber” cannot eat. It breathes through two tubes on its back. The adult mosquito grows inside the pupa and in two days or so, when it is fully developed, it splits the pupal skin and emerges to complete the life cycle or metamorphosis of the mosquito.


The newly emerged adult rests on the surface of the water until it is strong enough to fly away and feed.

Mosquito Facts

There are over 3300 species of mosquitoes worldwide. It is responsible for more human deaths than any other living creature (source: Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, St. Paul, MN). There are 48 known species of mosquitoes in Oregon. Several of the species found in Oregon can carry disease under the right conditions.

  • All mosquitoes must have water in which to complete their life cycle.
  • Only female mosquitoes suck blood. The males feed only on plant juices.
  • It takes as few as 7 days in warm weather for a mosquito to complete its life cycle (egg to adult).
  • The female mosquito may live as long as 3 weeks during the summer. She can also live many months over the winter in order to lay her eggs the following spring.

When should I call Vector Control?

Call your nearest Vector Control office if:

  1. You are bothered by mosquitoes, a trained employee will investigate and lend assistance.
  2. You need help to prevent or control mosquito breeding in your backyard.
  3. You have an ornamental pond, unused swimming pool or an animal drinking trough, mosquito fish will be furnished without charge.

Where Did the Name mosquito Come From?

The Spanish called the mosquitoes, musketas. The native Hispanic Americans called them zancudos. The word mosquito is Spanish or Portuguese meaning little fly, while zancudos, also a Spanish word, means long-legged.

The use of the word mosquito is apparently of North American origin and dates back to about 1583. In Europe, mosquitoes were called gnats by the English, Les moucherons or Les cousins by French writers, and Stechmucken or Schnacke by the Germans. In Scandanavian countries, they called mosquitoes by a variety of names including myg and myyga while the Greeks called them konopus. In 300 B.C., Aristotle referred to mosquitoes as empis in his Historia Animalium where he documented their life cycle and metamorphic abilities.

Modern writers used the name Culex and it is retained today as the name of a mosquito genus. What is the correct plural form of the word mosquito? In Spanish it would be mosquitos, but in English mosquitoes (with the e) is correct (Source: The American Mosquito Control Association).

Similar topics: vector control