The mosquito life cycle

CDC life cycle

Life cycle description from the EPA:

All mosquito species go through four distinct stages during their life cycle:

egg – hatches when exposed to water
larva – (plural: larvae) “wriggler” lives in water; molts several times; most species surface to breathe air
pupa – (plural: pupae) “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 life cycle typically takes up two weeks, but depending on conditions, it can range from 4 days to as long as a month.

The adult mosquito emerges onto the water’s surface and flies away, ready to begin its life cycle.


Mosquitoes, meet your maker. A DIY trap kills thousands of the biting bugs

[Please let us know if you try this non-toxic mosquito elimination method… and give thanks we don’t have the biting population New Orleans does!] By Susan Langenhennig, The Times-Picayune, May 27, 2014

If you’re waging war on mosquitoes, don’t waste your money on a bug zapper. They aren’t much of a solution. You’re more likely to catch moths than mosquitoes in the buzzing devices, and, as the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board says, “bug zappers do more harm than good.” Continue reading

Dontsprayme baby yard signs

The image of the baby in a gas mask, the Don’t Spray Me! logo, popped up all over West Chester in 2016. That baby, just like a real infant, cannot be ignored. Signs picturing him with our web address attracted lots of attention and brought the importance of getting rid of mosquitoes without spraying to the attention of the community.

In 2017, we introduced a new sign model, the Happy Baby with the text “Thank you for not spraying,” because West Chester was not sprayed in 2016. Here are both side by side:

And now, here is our 2018 version, “Happy Baby holding mask,” signifying that the baby is relying on our efforts once again to forestall spraying:


All three signs are available and awaiting a new home on your street-facing property. The 2016 and 2017 signs are free; for the 2018 sign, we request a $10 donation to help in our work. To get a sign, contact your Block Captain or email Margaret.

Here are some photos of houses in the Borough where the 2016 babies found happy homes to project their message:

yard sign 1

yard sign 3

yard sign 5


Pesticide Environmental Stewardship

We applaud the Chester County Health Department and US Environmental Protection Agency for their commitment to reducing pesticide risks:

“The Chester County Health Department is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. This program requires participants to affirm that environmental stewardship is an integral part of their integrated pest management (IPM) practice, use current, comprehensive information regarding the life cycle of mosquitoes within their IPM program, educate the community on the benefits of IPM, and demonstrate a commitment to pesticide risk reduction activities.”

(Wording from the County’s 5/19/16 release under the heading “Make your home a Mosquito-FREE zone” at CHESTER COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT).

No breeding mosquitoes… it’s a matter of public health!

from the Chester County Health Department Rules and Regulations:

502.5.1.1. No person shall maintain or permit to be maintained any pond, privy vault, cesspool, well, cistern, rain barrel, individual sewage system, community sewage system, or other receptacle or system containing water, unless such receptacle or system is constructed or maintained in a manner to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, flies, or vectors of disease.

Our oldest and youngest block captains

(Block Captains help educate Borough residents about how to keep mosquitoes from breeding on their properties. For more info or to join these worthy colleagues, see “Help Spread the Word!”)

Walter Hipple, our oldest block captain at age 95, pictured with Reiko Yosida, one of the many international students he and his wife Kay have hosted in their home over the years:  


Our youngest block captains, the Hudgings grandchildren, with Mayor Carolyn Comitta distributing information to a neighbor: