For many individuals prone to the attention of mosquitoes, the end of summer and the arrival of winter is a time of celebration. However, as those working in pest control know, mosquitoes do not simply die off when cold weather comes knocking.
Mosquitoes are notoriously resilient pests, and can survive over the winter months, ready to be your ‘best friend’ again the next summer. In fact, unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent without these insects, mosquitoes simply are a bug we all have to bear.
In this article we’ll be discovering just where mosquitoes go in the winter months and how they survive until warm weather returns.
The common misconception that mosquitoes do not survive winter months probably stems from the males of the species. With an incredibly short life span of just 10 days after mating, the males rarely survive much into the first few weeks of Fall.
The females, however, have a much longer lifespan and are able to hibernate with their eggs for up to six months, more than enough to survive the winter chills.
Preparing for Winter
A mosquito female with usually lay her legs in the Fall. The first few stages of her babies’ development, (egg, larva, and pupa), need to take place in aquatic environments. Therefore the mother will usually lay her eggs in moist ground or soil. Though this initial development is referred to as ‘aquatic’, do not be fooled into thinking this refers to ponds or large bodies of water. Receptacles with just an inch of water can be more than enough to make a suitable mosquito hatchery!
Don’t think you can breathe easy if your Fall has been particularly dry though, as these resilient pests can delay their development for months at a time. Known as ‘diapause’, this process means that a mosquito is able to ‘wait out’ undesirable weather, allowing them to thrive when the time is right.
While, unless a female has hibernated, the adult mosquitos will have all died off in the colder months, the larvae are perfectly safe in the diapause state. This state continues until the temperature starts to rise, signalling the beginning of spring.
Spring has Sprung!
When the water surrounding them starts to warm, the pupae or larvae start to escape their diapause state. They then continue their development as normal.
For females coming out of hibernation, before they can lay their eggs, they need protein in their system. Unfortunately for us, this means a blood meal. Once she has fed, she is able to lay her own eggs, ready for another mosquito invasion over summer.
While mosquitoes sadly are mostly unavoidable, if you notice large amounts of larvae or pupae around your home or garden during the winter months, then it is probably best to seek a pest control professional to rid you of them while they remain in diapause. This will help avoid the unexpected surprise of a swarm of mosquitoes in your garden come the warmer months!
Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.