CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The standing water from recent the heavy rain is giving female mosquitoes plenty of places to lay their eggs. Here are some mosquito facts.
Mosquitoes go through four stages during their life cycle which only takes 8-10 days.
-Egg - hatches when exposed to water
-Larva - "wriggler" lives in water; molts several times; most species surface to breathe air.
-Pupa - "tumbler" does not feed; stage just before emerging as adult.
-Adult - flies short time after emerging and after its body parts have hardened.
The first three stages occur in water, but the adult is an active flying insect. Only the female mosquito bites and feeds on the blood of humans or other animals.
-After she obtains a blood meal, the female mosquito lays the eggs directly on or near water, soil and at the base of some plants in places that may fill with water. The eggs can survive dry conditions for a few months.
-The eggs hatch in water and a mosquito larva or "wriggler" emerges. The length of time to hatch depends on water temperature, food and type of mosquito.
-The larva lives in the water, feeds and develops into the third stage of the life cycle called, a pupa or "tumbler." The pupa also lives in the water but no longer feeds.
-Finally, the mosquito emerges from the pupal case after two days to a week in the pupal stage. The adult mosquito emerges onto the water's surface and flies away, ready to begin its lifecycle.
Here are some ways to keep from getting bit:
-Use an insect repellent that contains DEET
-Wear light-colored long sleeved shirts and pants
-Eliminate standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.
-Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats.
-Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt.
-Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.