What Happens to Mosquitoes During Winter?
When the weather gets cold and the snow starts to fall the last thing on your mind are mosquitoes. 'Tis the season to not get bug bites' is how the song goes, right? Well, when it comes to mosquitoes, the answer is yes (ticks are a different story).
But did you know that as the temperature drops the next generation of mosquitoes may already be waiting to emerge come spring?
You're as cold as ice...
Mosquitoes are cold-blooded. This means they do not have the ability to self regulate their body temperature. Once the temperature dips below 50 degrees they tend to go into a dormant state. At this point, you won't be seeing them around your home anymore. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they die off.
Hibernating and Breeding
An article written by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) explains that what happens to a mosquito over the winter can differ depending on the species. As NPMA etymologist Dr. Michael Bentley explains, some adult mosquitoes can actually hibernate in places like hollow logs or burrows made by other animals. Mosquitoes can also survive the winter in an immature state as larvae and pupa, their development stoping during the colder months. This state is known as diapause.
In fact, mosquito eggs can be remarkably resilient. According to Dr. Bentley, “newly deposited eggs survive the winter because they can withstand several months without water, as well as relatively cold conditions. As temperatures start to rise and rainfall picks back up again in the spring, the eggs are re-submerged and hatch to start the next generation.” This is why it is a good idea to follow the rules of tip, flip, tighten to combat mosquito reproduction on your property.
Mosquitoes may be down for the (cold temperature) count during winter, but they are certainly not out of the fight come spring.