Mosquito Eggs – Everything You Need to Know

At Mosquito Joe, we believe that the key to controlling a pest is understanding it. The more we understand their habits, behaviors, and needs, the better we can be at controlling the population and managing them. When it comes to mosquitoes, understanding mosquito eggs is vital. It’s the one thing that no laboratory has managed to kill. So, knowing what an egg needs to survive allows us to reduce the numbers in a yard, and hence the mosquito population as a whole.

mosquito life cycleA mosquito’s life cycle involves 4 stages, beginning with the egg and ending with the emergence of the adult mosquito. The first three stages occur in water so that is the preferred location for eggs to be laid. But a mosquito will lay eggs elsewhere if there is no water available. Where the female lays her eggs is driven by the species.

In general, mosquito eggs fall into 3 groups. The first are eggs that are laid as single units on water. The second are eggs laid in rafts which float on the water’s surface. The third are laid singly outside the water – on the side of rocks or holes or artificial containers. When the water rises in these areas, the eggs contact the water and hatch.

While managing water is the key to preventing the larvae from hatching, it’s not enough to control them. The fact is, if you have a female mosquito in your yard who wants to lay eggs, she will find a place. And if there is no water, then she will find a location where the soil is moist and opt for that. If you water regularly chances are that the soil is damp enough for her to lay eggs there.

If you have a culvert by the street, while it may not hold water when she visits, she will opt for it as a good spot. If you have plant pots, a wheelbarrow, or any number of containers in your yard, even if dry, she will lay eggs there knowing that the rain will come, and the container will fill.

Mosquito eggsSo how long will that egg survive if we don’t get rain? The answer is the key to why mosquitoes are so hard to control. A mosquito egg can lay dormant for up to 15 years. They can be frozen in ice and hatch when the ice melts. You may read that Dawn dish soap can suffocate eggs, but this is not true. No one has worked out how to kill a mosquito egg and we are limited to killing the larvae and pupae (as well as the adults).

The best way to control the mosquitoes in your yard is to limit the water, as well as areas where water can accumulate after rain. As soon as water touches an egg it can hatch, and ONE TEASPOON of water will provide enough for 300 eggs. A good checklist is as follows:

  1. Keep your gutters flowing and free of debris.
  2. Turn all containers upside down and store them out of the elements (plant pots, wheelbarrows, saucers under plant pots, gutter drains, etc.).
  3. Even your yard if you have low spots can accumulate water. Customers with the worst mosquito issues are usually those who have dogs that dig holes in their yard.
  4. Minimize the use of tarps – one tarp can create multiple pockets of standing water.
  5. If you have poor drainage in your yard, fixing it can resolve a lot of issues. Direct water away from your property and be careful not to lay a French drain without a steep angle – poorly designed drains are hidden under the ground, but not from mosquitoes.
  6. Keep your yard tidy and your ground clear of as much leaf and pine needle debris as possible. The more ground cover you have, the wetter the soil beneath.
  7. Bring kids’ toys inside before rains. One small plastic toy can fill with water and breed a lot of mosquitoes. The same goes for plastic kid playhouses.
  8. Refresh your birdbaths often, it is not enough to tip out the water – mosquito eggs can cling to the sides. Scrub the bath before refilling so you are not just refreshing the water for those eggs!
  9. Finally, after a weather event spend a few minutes tipping and tossing the water. An egg cannot hatch without water, so don’t give them that option!

Our mosquito service involves more than laying down products. Our technicians will tip and toss as they treat, so if you want to have us manage these issues just give us a call to find out more at 281-815-0228.


Biting Midges

Prior to Hurricane Harvey, biting midges were an issue for our customers in very specific locations – namely around Lake Conroe. Since that time, however, biting midges have become a very real problem for most of our customers. Bryan/College Station has them everywhere, and now we see them as far south as Tomball and as north as Huntsville. Few people have heard of them, so we are here to clear up some misinformation about mosquitoes and help you distinguish the two.

Mosquitoes are dawn and dusk insects because they are unable to regulate their body temperature. The only exception to this is the Asian Tiger mosquito (see photo), which is larger than your average mosquito and has clear black and white stripes on its body. Biting midges are not as affected by the sun, so they will be out all day, mostly in the ground and grass.

Here is how some typical conversations go in the office:

Caller: “Hi, I have mosquitoes everywhere. They are swarming and they are in the house!”

MoJo: “Ok, do you get bitten during the day, maybe more so on your lower legs than elsewhere?”

Caller: “Yes! How did you know that?”


Caller: “Hi, I need help. The baby mosquitoes are really bad at my house, and I can’t go outside without being attacked.”

MoJo: “I’m so sorry – is this all the time, during the day and evening?”

Caller: “Yes! My kids get eaten when they are outside playing or when they swim. They swarm them.”


Customer: “Hi, I don’t think your service is working. I’m still getting bitten and now they are in my house. I think you guys pushed them inside.”

MoJo: “Ok, so please understand that our service kills mosquitoes and won’t push them anywhere. But tell us more so we can help. Are you bitten in the sun during the day? Do you have lots of bites on your legs?”

Customer: “Yes! There are a lot of baby mosquitoes, so I don’t think it’s working.”

Swarm of gnats in the evening. The first thing to know is that there is no such thing as a baby mosquito. Mosquitoes hatch fully grown from pupae. “Baby mosquitoes,” are never mosquitoes and always something else. The second thing to know is that midges live in the ground and grass, which we don’t treat when we treat mosquitoes; since mosquitoes live, shelter, and feed in the green leaf. We ask everyone who calls where they are in their yard when they are bitten, as well as the time of day, so that we can try to drill down to the insects causing them issues. Biting midges are smaller than a mosquito and black in color.  They have different wing veining and more feathering on their antennae, but neither of these can be seen when they are flying, so we understand the confusion.

We often hear the comment that they are, “in the house.”  While it is totally feasible that a mosquito flies in through an open door, mosquitoes have no desire to be inside. They are far too busy looking for plant nectar to be focused on an open door. If they are focused on biting you, they may follow you in, but unless you keep your door wide open, or have open windows with the lights on at night, mosquitoes have better things to do, like eat and breed.

To understand what is happening we need to appreciate that midges feed off decomposing matter. They love the sludge in gutters, decomposing pine needles and leaves, sludge in your gutters and downspouts, and the sludge in the U-bends of your sinks. When someone calls in with “mosquitoes” in the house, we are confident that the drains are the issue.

There is a super easy trick everyone can do inside, and we recommend this twice a year to everyone:

White bathroom sink.

  1. Pour 3 “glugs” of household bleach into every drain, shower, tub and sink in the house.
  2. Let the bleach sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Run your water on hot for 5 minutes in each drain.
  4. Plug any sinks, tubs etc. that don’t get used much (guest sink for example).

This simple task will flush out the U-bend and clear out any eggs laid there too.  Within a week most people report a dramatic difference in their issues.

Swarm of insects.Another consideration is your septic tanks if you are on septic. Those lids will crack over time with mowing or just the sun. Sometimes the septic company does a poor job of sealing the lids back up after a visit. The number of mosquitoes and midges that can come from this one issue can be overwhelming. Take a moment to check your septic tanks – if you open one and a cloud of insects flies out, you know you have an issue with your lid (any insect inside that tank is getting in somehow and getting out to feed).

To treat for midges, Mosquito Joe will tack an add-on service to your treatment (for this we charge only the cost of the products and time). This involves treating all the ground and grass in addition to our mosquito service. We always request that we coordinate this service with the customer so that the grass is short when we visit, and that they avoid mowing (and thereby cutting off the product) for 4 days after we come. If you would like to learn more about our services or have questions, don’t hesitate to call or email us. We are always here to help: 281-815-0228


What is Mosquito Control Awareness Week?

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

The last week of June every year is Mosquito Control Awareness Week (MCAW).  Some folks we talk to are surprised that there exists a week devoted to the mosquito, but if we can devote a week to sharks – who are responsible for a very, very small number of deaths, then we should certainly devote a week to the deadliest animal on the planet.

The concept of MCAW is just as its name describes, to bring awareness not only to the mosquito and the diseases they carry but to what we can do to reduce the population where we live.

Mosquitoes carry EEE, West Nile, Malaria, Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya Virus. Transmission occurs once the mosquito bites, sharing saliva and potential blood particles, transferred from the last bite they took. There is no evidence that Covid can be transferred through a mosquito.

Mosquito Joe works with Nothing But Nets every year, donating a portion of its’ revenue to the organization, who supplies pesticide-treated mosquito nets to families in sub-Sahara Africa where Malaria is rampant. Closer to home, we work hard to educate whenever we can to help spread the word about some simple things you can do to keep the population down. We have a lot of information in our blogs about mosquitoes, what you can do yourself, how to best deal with bites, how to look for trouble spots, and more.

mosquito joe awareness week

The biggest takeaway for mosquitoes should be water, water, water. Water is where they lay their eggs, where the eggs hatch into larvae, and where the larvae grow into adults. The less water you have, the fewer mosquitoes.  Remember, one teaspoon of water will give you 300 eggs. And with a life cycle of 3-5 days, those 300 can multiply into the millions in less than a month. So, tip and toss and dump that water every time it rains. Keep your gutters running clear and your fallen leaves and pine needles picked up.  Flush out your French drains and keep tarps and kids’ toys stored inside and away from the rain. Rinse out your birdbaths and scrub the sides when you do – eggs cling to the bowl and if you don’t scrub you’ve simply refreshed their water. And a HUGE issue we see all the time, especially after this last winter weather, your septic tank lids. If they are cracked or warped replace them and where possible, screw them down.  You would not believe the mosquitoes that can reproduce in those tanks.

Finally, and we apologize in advance for this, we will leave you with this most epic of videos.