Life Cycle: Females of "standing water" mosquito species (Anopheles, Coquilettidia, Culiseta, Culex species) deposit masses of eggs in "rafts" on the water surface, while "floodwater" species (Aedes, Psorophora species) lay eggs either on plants on or below a still water surface or in moist soil depressions that will be subject to later flooding. Time for eggs to hatch varies with species from 16 to 24 hours to more than 2 years for floodwater mosquitoes. Larvae develop through 3 molts (4 instars) over a period of about one week before pupating. Adults emerge from the back of the pupa after 2 to 3 days. Adults live for 2 or more weeks, although standing water species overwinter as mated, engorged females.
Mosquito species vary in aquatic larval habitats, ranging from ponds, puddles, containers and tree holes to other sources of standing, slow moving, fresh or salty water. Large numbers of mosquitoes can develop in swamps, tidal marshes, flood water and rice fields. Male mosquitoes swarm in "clouds" to attract females. Mosquitoes can fly and disperse with the wind. Larvae and pupae can be detected by swirling a fine mesh net through standing water. Suction traps with light as the attractant are available to collect mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can also be attracted using carbon dioxide or dry ice.