General Practice 2022

Life cycle of the Aedes aegypti mosquito (4 main phases)

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Life cycle of the Aedes aegypti mosquito (4 main phases)
Life cycle of the Aedes aegypti mosquito (4 main phases)
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Aedes aegypti is the mosquito that transmits dengue, Zika, Chikungunya and yellow fever and its life cycle is divided into 4 stages: egg, larva, pupa and developed mosquito. The cycle begins when an adult female lays her eggs on the walls of reservoirs with clean, still water and normally after 7 days the larva grows and becomes a pupa and 2 days later the mosquito is fully formed and ready to bite.

Mosquito eggs are very resistant and survive even for 1 year in a dry place and when this place receives clean water, in about half an hour of submersion this egg can develop. This mosquito takes an average of 10 days to develop and lives for 30 days. A single female produces 60 to 120 eggs in each reproductive cycle and can have more than 3 cycles in her lifetime.

4 Stages of Aedes aegypti

The Aedes aegypti mosquito needs both water and land to survive if its life cycle in the aquatic phase encompasses egg, larva and pupa and in the terrestrial phase, the mosquito that when it bites the human being can transmit dengue.

The 4 stages of mosquito life are:

1. Egg

The female Aedes lays her eggs in standing water or on the edge of a place that can eventually get wet. They prefer to lay their eggs in containers that can hold water, but slightly above the waterline such as on the edge of buckets, basins, garbage cans, swimming pools that are not treated with chlorine, open water tanks, bromeliads and dishes. of plants, for example.

Sometimes the female lays her eggs in the water, but often she prefers to lay her eggs close to the waterline to ensure the growth of new mosquitoes months later, ensuring the development and survival of her offspring.It is at this stage that the mosquito is most resistant and the only way to eliminate it is to wash the area with soap and water, using a sponge to rub the area. To ensure the egg is destroyed you can add some chlorine to the water while cleaning the container.

2. Larva

When in contact with water, the egg turns into a larva, in just 2 or 3 days and these larvae are very active and move in the water, being easily recognized. Although the mosquito prefers clean water to reproduce, it can grow even in dirty water and domestic sewage and feed on protozoa, bacteria and fungi present in this water. During this phase the larva comprises 4 stages of its development, where it increases in size.

3. Pupa

In about 7 to 10 days the larva turns into a pupa and adopts a comma shape and this stage is shorter and lasts only 2 days, until the mosquito is ready to 'birth'. They don't eat at this stage, they just breathe and move around a lot.

4. Adult mosquito

The pupa turns into a mosquito and it comes out of its 'cocoon' and is ready to fly and needs to feed. Normally Aedes aegypti mosquitoes feed on fruits and juices of some vegetables, but after mating, the female needs blood for her eggs to mature. After feeding on blood for 3 days she lays her eggs. The average lifespan of an adult mosquito is 30 days and during this period each female can lay about 3000 eggs.

These 4 phases can last from 5 to 10 days and the higher the temperature in the environment, the faster the mosquito develops and is ready to bite. The bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito can happen at any time of the day, however the mosquito avoids strong sun and outdoors, prefers shade but usually bites in the morning or late afternoon and at night between 7:00 and 10:00.:00h and between 16:00 and 19:00h.

How to reproduce

Reproduction of the dengue mosquito occurs through mating between male and female.Mating can take place during flight or on a flat surface. Then, for the maturation of her eggs, the female needs human or animal blood that will provide the nutrients necessary for the development of the eggs.

The female lays her eggs little by little, scattering them in different places. It has been observed that a female can lay only 1 or 2 eggs in a single location, depositing the others in several other locations, over a distance of more than 1 km. This indicates that when the female does not find an appropriate place to lay her eggs, she can fly long distances in search of the ideal environment, spreading the disease.

How to fight the mosquito

There are several ways to fight the mosquito and everyone can help in this fight by adopting some measures such as:

  • Use of insecticides that can be applied to water tanks, drains and plant dishes. See how to make a homemade insecticide.
  • Avoid the accumulation of standing water inside and outside the house;
  • Placing chlorine and treating the water of swimming pools that are left open;
  • Cleaning and capping water tanks and cisterns;
  • Removing all accumulated garbage.

Through simple measures like these it is possible to interrupt the life cycle of Aedes avoiding all the diseases it can cause.

Aedes aegypti in Brazil

Aedes aegypti is originally from North Africa and arrived in the Americas during its colonization and is present in several tropical countries, being very common in Brazil, especially in the summer when temperatures are higher and there are periods of rains and tropical storms that lead to the flooding of the streets and the easy ponding of water, facilitating their reproductive cycle.

Dengue is an arbovirus, like Zika, Chikungunya and yellow fever because they are transmitted by the bite of an insect, in this case the Aedes aegypti mosquito.Until the year 2000 in Brazil there were only dengue types 1 and 2, but in 2001 type 3 appeared and in 2010 type 4 was found in Roraima. Learn more about the Types of Dengue in Brazil.

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