Where Do Mosquitoes Go in the Winter?
Mosquitoes are at their worst during the warmer months, then seem to disappear during the cold, winter months. So where do they go?
Do they die? Do they migrate? Do they hibernate? Keep reading to find out!
Years of Evolution
Insects of all kinds have existed on earth for over 300 million years; and according to the University of Alaska, mosquitoes – as pesky as they are – have buzzed around this earth for over 226 million years!
Since mosquitoes survived this long on earth’s surface, they have evolved to withstand extreme weather conditions (rain, snow, sleet, hail, and extreme heat). Some mosquito species are even known to survive temperatures of negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now knowing that mosquitoes can survive cold temperatures, you can guess that mosquitoes are not migrating south for the winter. So what do they do when the temperature drops?
Mosquitoes Go Dormant
Like trees losing their leaves and bears going into hibernation for the winter, mosquitoes also go dormant during the cold months.
Mosquitoes are active at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which means they are usually buzzing around from spring to fall (in Georgia, this is March to October). However, when the average temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, mosquitoes fall into dormancy.
The methods mosquitoes use to lie dormant depends on their species and the stage of the lifecycle they occupy. Here are a couple ways mosquitoes go dormant to survive the winter.
Adult mosquitoes will take several measures to ensure their survival during the cold months through hibernation.
Some mosquitoes such as the southern house mosquito will seek out warm, insulated places to hide out during the winter. Animal burrows, sewers, hollow trees and logs, tree bark, BASEMENTS, and even ATTICS are all places mosquitoes might hide for the winter.
This means that if you’ve got a mosquito problem in the summer, those same mosquitoes might be long-term guests in your home for the winter!
Adult mosquitoes will also adjust their bodies to handle cold temperatures. They can undergo a process called diapause which is when their body dramatically slows down so they don’t need to eat or drink for several months.
This protects their body because a full mosquito is a dead mosquito in freezing temperatures. Although mosquitoes won’t freeze, the food and water inside them can – which would kill them.
So why can’t mosquitoes freeze? Adult mosquitoes can prevent their bodies from freezing through a process called supercooling.
According to the University of Alaska, mosquitoes and other insects like yellow jackets, can remove substances that can freeze from their body fluids. What’s left in their body is something similar to antifreeze which allows them to endure extremely cold temperatures without freezing to death.
Depending on the species of mosquito, lifecycle stage, and location; some mosquitoes may use one or more of these tactics to successfully hibernate as adults through the winter. Other mosquitoes might brace for the cold before they even hatch!
When discussing hibernation, we explored several different tactics adult mosquitoes use to avoid death in the winter. Depending on the mosquito species and the average temperature of their location, some mosquitoes might lay eggs in late summer or early fall to hatch in the following spring.
Tiger mosquitoes, which are very common in Georgia, are among the types of mosquitoes that will do this. They will lay their eggs in standing water, areas that will become wet, or bodies of water when it’s warm. Then, the eggs will endure the freezing temperatures and will hatch when it’s warm enough for the larvae to survive.
Some mosquito eggs are hardy enough to survive being frozen or covered in snow. They also don’t hatch prematurely because they undergo a process similar to diapause which delays the development of the larvae until it’s safe for them to emerge.
If you are not taking efforts to reduce the mosquito population around your yard, then this should raise alarm since frozen water in buckets, tires, planters, or gutters are most likely housing dormant mosquito eggs that are waiting to hatch in the spring!
What Does this Mean for Us?
If you’ve read this, then it should be clear to you that mosquitoes are here to stay – regardless of how hot or cold it gets on this earth.
They have evolved to survive temperatures of extreme highs and lows, so if you want to live in peace without the bother of mosquitoes, then you too have to evolve.
This means taking measures to prevent the spread of mosquitoes or working with a professional to eliminate mosquitoes from your yard completely.
About Simply Green’s Mosquito Control Service
We offer different outdoor mosquito control treatments to help rid your yard of these pests and keep them from coming back. Our backyard mosquito control products are safe for use around pets and children, and they work quickly to get rid of mosquitoes.
To control adult mosquitoes, our product is a synthetic version of the Pyrethrum extract found in Chrysanthemum flowers. In areas of standing water in your yard, we use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). Bti is a naturally occurring bacterium found in soils that specifically targets and only affects mosquito larvae. Bti interrupts the mosquito lifecycle by eliminating larvae before they mature into adults. It does not affect other insects, including honeybees. All of our EPA registered products are safe for kids and pets and do not pose a risk to your family.
If you’re looking for an easy way to keep mosquitoes out of your yard, our outdoor mosquito control treatments are a great option. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you get rid of mosquitoes for good!
About Simply Green Lawn Care
Simply Green aims to provide the highest quality lawn care, mosquito control, and lawn pest control services to Georgia residents.
We are locally owned and operated which allows us to be accessible, attentive, and responsive for customers in Georgia.
Our well-trained team is easy to work with and determined to exceed expectations.
All our plant health care specialists are Georgia Department of Agriculture Certified and maintain their Category 24 applicators license.
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