Where Do Mosquitoes Go in the Winter?
Temperatures are cooling down and the hot summer nights are finally fading away. North Texans welcome the winter season with open arms as mosquitoes and other insects become less of a nuisance.
Since mosquitoes are more prevalent during the summertime, one might think they die off during the winter. However, these blood-sucking creatures have been in existence for far too long, and have learned to hibernate during cold or harsh weather.
So, where do mosquitoes go in the winter?
Contrary to popular belief, the cold weather doesn’t kill them. Unfortunately, just like the rest of us, they are looking forward to the next summer season. Mosquitoes have several ways of surviving cold temperatures by hibernating.
Here’s everything you need to know about mosquitoes in the winter and how to prevent mosquito problems from happening around your property.
What Happens to Mosquitoes During the Winter Season?
Mosquitoes, like other insects, are cold-blooded creatures. While it’s true that mosquitoes cannot survive in an environment where the temperature is less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they have methods that help them persevere through the winter months.
So, where do mosquitoes go in the winter?
That depends on the species of mosquitoes. There are various types of mosquitoes that have developed ways of withstanding cold temperatures.
Mosquito eggs are more hardy than actual mosquitoes and can last up to eight months without food or water. So, even if you get rid of the actual mosquito, their eggs might still hatch in the harsh, dry weather. The eggs are usually submerged in ice during winter, and hatch during spring.
If you are wondering, “where do mosquitoes go in the winter,” some mosquito species undergo insect hibernation, also referred to as diapause.
Like bears and other hibernating mammals, as the cold season approaches, mosquitoes begin to store up nutrients and lower their metabolism level so they can hibernate all winter in crevices, basements, hollow logs, or animal burrows.
However, this isn’t the usual sleeping type of hibernation. Technically speaking, mosquitoes can’t sleep until the weather gets warmer. However, they suspend their development, so their bodies aren’t affected when seasons change.
Diapause is more common among pupae, which can survive when immersed beneath the surface of frozen water than the adult species. However, some species are reasonably tolerant to cold climates and can survive freezing weather conditions.
Another answer to “where do mosquitoes go in the winter,” is your home, since it stays relatively warm throughout the year.
Some types of mosquitoes will make their way into your basement or attic and take up residence there. Taking shelter indoors gives them warmer temperatures and you are the food
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Mosquito Lifespan: How Long Does a Mosquito Live?
How long does a mosquito live? That’s a common question people ask our pest control specialists at Safe Pro Pest.
These insects have been around for thousands of years, and have continually adapted to nature and its environment to ensure their survival.
To understand how mosquitoes spend their year and survive the winter, you need to understand the life cycle of a mosquito, their habits, and their differences. The truth is, that a mosquito’s life cycle depends on gender.
So, how long does a mosquito live? A female can last anywhere between 42-50 days. The average life cycle for a male species is 10 days.
Although this differs by species, female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water or damp surfaces. When the eggs get wet, they can develop into mosquito larvae that live in the water. Most larvae, thereafter, become pupae within five to ten days. Two or three days later, they emerge from the water as adult mosquitoes.
This entire process takes five to forty days, depending on the type of species. After that, the life expectancy of a mosquito in Texas can be anywhere from weeks to several months.
Male mosquitoes live shorter than female mosquitoes, who can lay anywhere between 50 to 500 eggs in a single brood, and may lay up to 10 broods in a lifetime. Adult males have a lifespan of 10 days, dying after mating.
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in areas where the ground is moist. Eggs laid in the fall can stay dormant until the next spring, hatching when the temperature rises.
What Happens to Mosquito Eggs During the Winter?
Now, you know the answer to “where do mosquitoes go in the winter,” and “how long does a mosquito live,” what happens to their eggs?
Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in the fall, either before dying or hibernating during the winter.
The adult female can lay up to 500 eggs in damp areas, standing water, plants, moist soils, and even containers holding as little as half-inch of water. The eggs may lay dormant in the soil or water until spring when they’ll hatch and continue their life cycle.
These first three stages typically last 5 to 15 days, depending on the temperature and type of mosquito, but there are a few exceptions.
Mosquito species living in areas where some seasons are waterless or freezing spend the better part of their year in diapause. They’ll delay their development, typically for months, until there is enough water and warmth for their needs.
Certain types of mosquitoes survive the winter in the pupa and larval stages. Mosquito larvae or pupae require water. But as the temperature drops, they suspend their growth and metabolism and freeze in solid ice. When the ice melts and debris have settled, the larvae busily engage in feeding.
When are mosquitoes most active?
When the warmer weather returns, adult females ready to lay eggs must find a blood meal to regain protein nutrients and help their eggs develop.
In the spring when people start their outdoor activities, newly awakened mosquitoes come out in full. The actual start of the mosquito season depends on where you live.
For example, mosquito season in Texas can begin as early as February and reach its peak population in a few weeks.
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How Can You Stop Mosquitoes Before They Hatch?
Mosquitoes are iconic pests during the summer, that’s why it makes sense to destroy their breeding cycle before they hatch. The more you disrupt it, the fewer mosquitoes will be around to disrupt your summer activities.
To control mosquitoes, you need to systematically destroy any potential breeding grounds around your property. When there are no good places to lay eggs, they will be forced to look elsewhere.
Mosquitoes don’t need cozy homes to reproduce. Here are a few breeding spots:
- Bird baths
- Stagnant water
- Rainwater barrels
- Flower pots
- Shaded areas with long grasses
Any place with water or heavy vegetation makes a good place for adult females to lay their eggs. Since mosquitoes are tiny, they don’t need a large body of water, as even a single bottle filled with water is enough for them to lay eggs.
Here are a few ways to eliminate their breeding grounds:
Keep rain gutters clean
Rain gutters and drains usually get filled with water after it rains. During heavy rainfall, you’ll likely see leaves, twigs, and other debris clogged in your waterway. These clogged gutters yield stagnant water, which becomes one of the favorite places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
Thus, regular cleaning is recommended to help maintain your home and keep rain gutters from becoming a breeding ground for these insects.
Remove stagnant water from flowerpots
When you water your plants, the excess water will run through the soil and collect in a pan. If you have any outdoor plants, the cleaner stagnant water collected from rainfall attracts mosquito species like Aedes Aegypti.
Make sure you make it a habit of removing stagnant water from your flower pots at least twice a week to remove potential breeding grounds.
Discard unwanted containers or junks that collects rainwater
Some junk items in your yard may be harboring mosquito eggs or larvae. Inspect your junk yard for any unwanted containers, including discarded tires, water buckets or basin, empty containers, tin cans, unused bottles, or other trash that contain water. Barrels and trash cans can collect rainwater, and old tires condense water vapor into tiny pools.
Clear bird baths
Bird baths are a beautiful accessory to your backyard as they attract all kinds of birds. However, the stagnant water is a perfect spot for mosquitoes to lay eggs. To prevent this, change the water and scrub down the bath at least once a week, preferably more frequently.
Repair any leaky pipes or faucets
Sometimes, we may not notice leaks outside the home, either from plumbing that has been exposed or from air conditioners that drip condensation. This water becomes a pest attraction in many homes.
For mosquitoes, leaky pipes or faucets can trap stagnant water and create breeding grounds. You should check and repair all leaks on your property as soon as you notice them.
Keep the outdoor garbage bin covered
Most trash bins collect rainwater. If left uncovered, it allows mosquitoes to lay eggs. Ensuring you keep your trash bins sealed properly to prevent rainwater from accumulating, is a great way to prevent mosquito hatching.
Ensure your pond or pool is moving
As mosquitoes require stagnant water to breed, your water source must flow freely. Try installing a water feature in your pond or pool such as a water fountain or water agitator. This will limit the opportunity for adult females to lay their eggs.
You can add natural predators like fishes, as they are good mosquito larvae killers. This will also attract other healthy predators like bacteria, dragonflies, and backswimmers.
In addition, planting mosquito-repellent herbs like rosemary, marigolds, lavender, catnip, and mint helps.
A mosquito bite can be red, painful, and itchy. Sometimes, they vary disease-causing organisms that can be dangerous to humans. So, it is a great idea to prevent mosquito bites. Here are our top tips:
- Keep your doors and windows closed. This will ensure mosquitoes remain outside. If you intend to keep them open, use nets and screens.
- When going outdoors, spray repellents to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Picaridin and PMD are great and effective chemical options. Use repellents that are safe and trustworthy, even for babies or pregnant women. Try to avoid spraying them in the face, as this is a sensitive body part.
- Wearing shorts or swimsuits attract mosquitoes. During the spring, choose long pants, long sleeves, and loose-fitting clothes. Also, dark colors like red, black, or blue attract pests, so choose lighter colors instead.
- Mosquitoes tend to attack when it’s dark. If possible, avoid going out at dawn or dusk. If you do, remember tips 2 and 3, wear appropriate clothing, and apply mosquito repellants.
If you’re taking proper steps to guard against mosquitoes and their bites, these pesky pests would not be a problem during the summer season.
Factors to Consider Before Calling Mosquito Experts During the Winter Season
Why did I get attacked by mosquitoes, even if I took preventative measures to remove stagnant water and potential mosquito breeding grounds around me?
Is eliminating breeding grounds enough? Unfortunately, no. Although preventative measures are good for effective mosquito control, it does not eliminate mosquito eggs during the winter season.
The most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes from your property is by combining the necessary methods to eliminate mosquitoes at every stage, from larvae to adult mosquitoes.
Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle this problem alone. Hiring a pest control company will give you peace of mind, knowing you wouldn’t share your property with unwanted guests.
If you want the best mosquito treatment, you should hire a local pest control company for your residential or commercial building. A local company will be aware of all the seasonal pest infestations.
Pest control is not a one-time thing. Although investing in a good pest control company will help you ward off mosquitoes for a long time, it is ideal to check for signs of pests.
A good pest control company will work with you throughout the entire process. When you find the right one, you will worry less, knowing that they have the situation under control.
If you are looking for a professional pest control company in North Texas, contact SafePro Pest Control. We offer effective treatment specially designed to destroy a mosquito’s life cycle at any stage using sniper-precise solutions that will defend your property.
We will assist you to inspect your home and potential breeding grounds, so you don’t have to worry about severe mosquito bites when the summer season comes.