Like any other animal, mosquitoes need to travel to gather food. Most mosquito species prefer to lay their eggs near to known food sources, minimising the need to travel. However, if they need to venture further afield to find what they need, mosquitoes are more than capable of travelling long distances.
Some mosquito species only fly a few hundred feet from their nesting sites to find food, but these are the exception. Most mosquito species can fly for 1 – 3 miles, and some of the larger species have been documented flying more than seven miles from their breeding site.
But a mosquito’s flying range is only one measure of its ability to travel. Mosquitoes are capable of travelling much greater distances using other methods of transport. Like many insects, mosquitoes can hitch a ride with people, hiding in suitcases, clothing, or even travelling on the back of a family pet.
Even if mosquitoes prefer to stay near their breeding grounds, they can adapt if necessary. As long as they have access to animals they can draw blood from to feed, mosquitoes can move between different environments and survive.
Assuming they don’t hitch a ride, most mosquitoes in the UK will stick close to the nesting site they first emerged from. While mosquitoes can only see potential pretty from 20 – 30 feet away, female mosquitoes can detect animal’s body odours and the carbon dioxide they exhale from as far as 170 feet away. They will happily fly this distance for a good meal.
In the UK, we are relatively lucky that most native mosquito species only have short flight ranges. We don’t get the large marsh mosquitoes that fly for several miles easily. However, if you live near any ponds or other standing water bodies, mosquitoes may well pay you a visit.