Overwintering Mosquitoes: Your Guide to Where Mosquitoes Go in the Winter
- November 25, 2019
From spring until fall, mosquitoes are relentless pests. Buzzing through our backyards, these annoying insects have the power to end any outdoor party in no time. Not only that, mosquitoes are capable of transmitting some of the most dangerous diseases on earth. Even here in Texas, we’re not immune to diseases like West Nile virus. Fortunately for us, mosquitoes are cold-blooded creatures and can’t tolerate the cold temperatures of winter. We’ve put together a guide to overwintering mosquitoes here in Texas.
Mosquitoes, like all insects, are cold-blooded creatures. This means they can’t create their own heat as mammals and birds do. They rely entirely on the sun and on outside temperatures to stay warm. This means that in the fall and winter when temperatures drop, mosquitoes are in trouble. Lucky for them (unlucky for us), these crafty pests have ways of beating the cold.
As temperatures drop, animals and plants prepare themselves for the winter. This includes mosquitoes. Before the winter arrives, mosquitoes begin storing fat for the big sleep. By the time winter is here, female mosquitoes are ten times their normal size. Once they’ve stored enough fat to get them through the winter, the female mosquitoes mate one last time for the year. The males die off and the females refuse the blood meal necessary for their eggs to develop. Instead, they search for a cozy place that’s sheltered from the wind to overwinter.
After they find their cozy place, mosquitoes enter a sort of hibernation called diapause. Diapause essentially means the mosquito delays all development, entering into a state of dormancy. These mated female mosquitoes “hibernate” through the winter in this state of dormancy, waiting for the temperatures to rise again in the spring. From there, they wake up and immediately search for their first blood meal so their first batch of eggs can be laid right away.
The second way that mosquitoes overwinter is through their eggs. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in the fall and die off, letting their eggs wait for the perfect time to hatch and wreak havoc on us again. For these delayed-hatching eggs, it’s important that they are laid in a place where there will be plenty of water in the spring.
For these eggs to hatch, it’s important that they go through an extended period of cold temperatures and dry conditions. Then, in the spring, the warm temperatures and more frequent rain activate these eggs. Ten days later, you’ll have your first generation of mosquitoes.
The best way to prevent mosquitoes from overwintering on your property and giving your trouble in the spring is by investing in professional mosquito control services. Here at DFW Mosquito, we specialize in mosquito control. Our experts target mosquitoes where they live and breed, treating your lawn every 21 days to reduce the population and help keep you and your family safe.