Winter Mosquito Control: Where Do Mosquitoes Go in the Winter?
- November 9, 2020
Mosquitoes are one of the most hated summer pests in the United States. Thankfully, when cooler weather sets in they disappear. Believe it or not, mosquitoes don’t die off during the colder months. How a mosquito survives the winter differs by species. For example, the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus overwinters as an egg, while other species find places to hibernate.
Once temperatures stay consistently below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll start to notice less mosquito activity. In most of the United States and parts of northern Texas, mosquitoes will start to shut down in the fall and winter. When temperatures do get too cold for mosquitoes to handle some species will hibernate along stream banks, in holes, and among tree roots. Some will lay their eggs in freezing water and then die. In the spring the eggs hatch, bringing forth a new generation of mosquitoes.
However, in the southern part of the state, we rarely see the freezing temperatures that force mosquitoes into hibernation mode. That means mosquitoes are pretty much active all year long in southern Texas.
Once warmer weather returns, adults re-emerge, and the eggs hatch. The larvae feed on microorganisms living in the water. In less than a week, they will pupate, shed their skin, and will become adult flying mosquitoes.
After the adults emerge the males and females split up and go after two different food sources. Male mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowers while the females hunt down humans and animals for their blood. Female mosquitoes need the proteins found in mammal blood to produce her eggs. After she has finished feeding she seeks outstanding water to deposit her eggs and the cycle begins anew.
Even in the winter, Texas residents should still exercise caution when going outdoors this winter. The best way is to never let your guard down and keep up your mosquito prevention habits from summer. Here’s what you can do:
Do a check of your property for items that could hold standing water that could contain mosquito eggs. These items may include flowerpots, birdbaths, patio furniture, ditches, tire swings, grill covers, and other objects where water can collect.
Water features are great ways to make your yard feel like an oasis but they can be a problem when dealing with mosquitoes. Luckily, you don’t have to eliminate your birdbaths or fountains to win the war on mosquitoes. Just be sure to change the water in your birdbath at least once a week or add a water agitator to keep the water moving.
A good thing about the colder months is that we cover ourselves more. That makes us less of a target for hungry mosquitoes who seek out exposed skin. Mosquitoes hunt their prey by sensing heat and our scents. Wear light-colored clothes that are not too tight-fitting. Mosquitoes can bite through tight jeans and shirts. Mosquitoes are also attracted to fancy soaps and lotions. So choose products that are unscented if you plan on being outside for a long period of time.
There are a lot of mosquito repellents out there and they aren’t for everyone. The CDC recommends using products that contain at least 20% DEET, especially in areas that don’t get colder than 50 degrees like Arizona, Hawaii, Florida, Southern California, and Texas.
Unfortunately, some people are allergic to DEET and cannot use traditional mosquito repellants.
The most effective way to control mosquitoes is by hiring professional mosquito control experts at DFW Mosquito. With our mosquito control program, we can ensure effective mosquito eradication with monthly visits or one-time services for graduation parties, weddings, and other outdoor events you don’t want mosquitos to crash.