The life cycle of a mosquito begins when the female mates and has a blood meal. They will feed from any vertebrate animal, but most species generally prefer warm-blooded animals. It is only the female that feeds on blood because they need the proteins found in blood to create their eggs.
The female mosquito will lay her eggs on the surface of standing or very slow moving water; most often many females will lay their eggs in the same area together. After just a few days the eggs will hatch and larvae will emerge from them. After about a week, the larvae pupate for 2-3 days. After the mosquito larvae pupate, they will emerge to the surface of the water as adults. These new adults will begin mating in just a few days continuing the life-cycle of the mosquito.
Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading a large number of serious diseases and pathogens to people, pets, livestock, and other animals. West Nile virus, yellow fever, malaria, tularemia, canine heartworm, and the Zika virus can all be transmitted by a mosquitoes bite.
For more information about the Zika virus in Missouri, click here and visit the Zika virus page of the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services website and for information regarding the Zika virus in the United States, click here to go to the Zika virus section of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention's (CDC) website.