The Life Cycle of Pests

When it comes to getting rid of pests in and around your home, it may seem like a never-ending battle. That’s probably because pests can reproduce rather quickly and it can be difficult to track exactly where they are coming from. For humans, it takes nine months to create a child. For insects and rodents, the reproductive stages are much shorter. Within just weeks, you could have hundreds more pests creating chaos in your home. 

So it’s rare that you would have just a few ants or termites in your home. It’s likely that you have hundreds or possibly thousands! Reducing their populations on your own can be a difficult feat. By working with our pest control professionals, we can quickly, safely, and effectively treat your home for all the pests that may be causing you stress. 

If you do have pests in your home, you could have multiple generations of them. Here’s a look at the life cycles of common insects and rodents so you can get a better idea of how quickly they breed and how quickly you need to call a pest exterminator

Ant Life Cycles

Ants go through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  Within 1-2 weeks, an egg hatches into a larva, which is worm-shaped and has no eyes or legs. Larvae eat constantly and grow rapidly.

When a larva is large enough, it turns into a pupa, which looks more like an adult, except with its legs and antennae folded against its body. The pupa stage lasts for 6-10 weeks. This is when the ant then emerges as an adult. Adults start out light but darken as they age. Depending on the type of ant, this process can take a month or longer. 

The lifespan of an ant can vary, depending on the type of ant. Worker ants can survive for several months, but will die after mating. The queen ant can live for a long time — even decades — if the environmental conditions are right.

Rodent and Rat Life Cycles

Mice can breed quickly. They can breed all throughout the year, although the reproductive season of wild mice is only from April to September. The heat cycle is 4-6 days long, with female mice going into postpartum estrus 12-18 hours after giving birth. They generally have 5-10 litters per year, although some females have had as many as 14. Mice are pregnant for just  19-21 days. Litters can consist of 3-12 offspring, although 5-6 is average. The baby mice are born naked and blind. They open their eyes at 14 days old and are weaned at three weeks. They become sexually mature at 5-7 weeks old. Mice live for about two years in captivity, but some have lived for as long as six years. In the wild, mice typically do not live any longer than 18 months.

Rats breed constantly. They start breeding once they reach sexual maturity, which happens at about 5 weeks old. Rats may produce seven offspring per litter, with some litters reaching 14. The gestation period is around 21 days. Female rats will produce around five litters a year. Rats take about three weeks to mature. Life expectancy for rats is 2-3 years, but many rats die after the first year due to predators.

Mosquito Life Cycles

Mosquitoes can only lay eggs in water, which is why you will usually see them around pools, puddles, and other bodies of water. Even the smallest bit of water can serve as a nest. Mosquitoes can lay as many as 100 eggs at a time. The eggs are very hardy and can survive drying out for up to 8 months. 

The eggs hatch when they are submerged in water, which can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. The result is larvae, which develop into pupae in around five days. They then develop into adult mosquitoes in 2-3 days. They are fully able to fly.

Once the hatched mosquitoes are on their own, the females will look for water to lay even more eggs, continuing the cycle. Mosquitoes can live inside and outside of a home. 

Termite Life Cycles

A termite queen, depending on species, may lay 20,000 to 30,000 eggs per day. While the queen lays eggs, the entire termite colony cares for the eggs, as they are necessary for the termite colony to thrive.

Termites begin their lives as eggs but go through a process of development known as incomplete metamorphosis. This means that the termite progresses through three life stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Young termites can molt several times over the span of their lives.

Termite nymphs look like small adults. They are almost translucent and either white or very pale. They almost look like maggots. They will typically molt in three stages. Termite nymphs can take months to develop into adults. While growing, nymphs are unable to feed themselves., relying on worker termites.

Termites will molt into their final form as they mature. Termite nymphs may molt into workers, although some continue to molt further into soldiers or reproductive flyers. In some cases, termites may remain in the colony as supplemental queens or kings. These termites only fully mature upon the death of the colony’s main reproductive agents.

A termite’s life cycle varies widely based on species and the termite’s role within their colony. Worker and soldier termites can live 1-2 years, while some termite queens can live up to 30 years.

Contact Us Today

Many pests can reproduce quickly, so it can be difficult to get rid of multiple generations of insects and rodents in your home. Don’t be afraid to seek help from a pest professional. 

Golden Circle Exterminators can help you get rid of pest infestations. We’ll effectively remove pests and help you get back your peace of mind. Contact our office today to see how we can help you. Give us a call at (731) 200-1087 to schedule a free inspection.