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Anopheles Mosquito Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from anopheles mosquitoes by learning techniques for identification and control.

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How do I get rid of anopheles mosquitos?

What Orkin Does

With more than three thousand types of known mosquitoes, female Anopheles mosquitoes are the primary carrier of disease, especially malaria. To keep these pests out of your home, ensure all screens, windows and doors are in good condition. Empty or dispose of anything that collects water in yards, regardless of how small and unimportant the item may seem.

Trained to help with Anopheles mosquito identification and management, your Orkin Pro will design a unique mosquito treatment program for your situation. Contact Orkin for help with identifying and reducing issues with mosquitoes feeding around homes and yards. The best way to repel Anopheles mosquitoes is through simple, strategic measures and Orkin can provide the perfect solution to keep pesky skeeters in their place and out of your home.

To learn more about how to control mosquitoes and help prevent future infestations, contact your local Orkin branch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Anopheles Mosquitoes

What Do Anopheles Mosquitoes Look Like?

  • Color: Commonly blackish to dark brown in color.

  • Body: Anopheles mosquitoes have a pair of mouthpart palps that are about the same length as the proboscis.

  • Characteristics: Females position themselves at about a 45 degree angle to the host’s skin when taking a blood meal, unlike most other mosquitoes that assume more of a parallel position with the host’s skin when feeding.

What Do Anopheles Mosquitoes Eat?

Blood is essential for mosquito reproduction and survival. Female mosquitoes take blood meals to get the protein and iron needed to produce eggs that will properly hatch. Not all species of mosquitoes prefer to feed on humans, some species prefer birds or reptiles. Still, conditions and competition may force them to feed on other hosts.

It’s important to note that mosquitoes eat a few other things besides blood. Males obtain their nourishment from plant nectar and other sources of sugar. Females also feed on sugars but must take a blood meal before they can produce fully developed eggs and Anopheles larvae.

Where Do Anopheles Mosquitoes Live?

Avid fans of hot and humid environments, mosquitoes are often found in tropical areas around the world. Since mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in stagnant water, they most commonly infest areas such as ponds, marshes, swamps and other wetlands. Mosquitoes are capable of thriving in a variety of locations and can successfully grow in numbers, even when not in their natural habitat. Many species of mosquitoes use containers of water as egg-deposit sites. Although they’re referred to as an aquatic animal, mosquitoes are insects that live in water but make trips up to the water’s surface every now and then to inhale fresh oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide.

Fun Fact: Anopheles mosquitoes are one of about 41 genera of mosquitoes that occur worldwide. Of the nearly 3,500 mosquito species, about 430 are Anopheles. The only country or region that does not have these mosquitoes is Antarctica.

Life Cycle

Anopheles mosquitoes complete four distinctly different life stages during their development. The egg, larval, and pupal stages take place in water while the adult stage is able to fly and move to other locations.


After taking a blood meal, females find a protected resting site and wait until she can digest the blood and for her eggs to fully develop. When ready, she will lay her eggs on a water source and fly away to search out another blood meal. Females lay about 50 to 200 eggs at a time.

Unlike other mosquito species who lay eggs in groups that are “glued” together (egg rafts), Anopheles eggs are laid individually and float on surface of the water. Eggs may hatch within 2–3 days after being laid but can take up to three weeks in cooler climates.


Anopheles mosquito larvae orient their body parallel to the water’s surface when taking in air, unlike others who orient more or less perpendicular to the water’s surface. The larvae get air through special organs on their body and must come to the water’s surface to breathe.

Larvae spend much of their time feeding on:

  • Algae

  • Aquatic microorganisms

  • Bacteria


Once the larvae have completed four instars (stages), the pupae develop. Pupae also must go to the surface of the water and breath through a pair of organs known as respiratory trumpets.


After about 2-3 days, the pupal stage is completed and the adult mosquito emerges.

Anopheles Mosquitoes & Malaria

Anopheles mosquitoes are one of the most important disease vectors among the insect world, earning this reputation as the result of being carriers of malaria. Worldwide, malaria deaths number up to about 1 million each year. While malaria takes “center stage” when it comes to disease transmission, anopheles mosquitoes may also transmit filariasis and some arboviral diseases.

Malaria in the U.S.

Each year, small numbers of malaria are reported in the United States. These cases primarily result from travelers returning to the U.S. from malaria endemic areas of the world. Malaria mainly arises in lesser-developed tropical and subtropical parts of the world. There is a risk for malaria to re-emerge in the U.S. due to the abundance of competent Anopheles vectors, especially in the South.

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