When you think of Summer, what comes to mind? Sunny days, the beach, golf, tennis, barbecues, evening walks and evening drives… And mosquitos. Yes, a sure sign that summertime is in full swing is not just the chirping of the birds who have returned from their migration for the winter but also the itching, buzzing, and general annoyance of mosquitos.
But have you ever wondered why that is? What happens to mosquitoes during the winter? And, for that matter, where do mosquitoes and flies go in the winter? Well, the answer may come as a bit of a shock and may make your skin crawl just a bit.
It is a common question, and a common belief that mosquitoes just up and die in the winter. You are probably thinking– there is absolutely no way that they could survive cold and harsh winters, right? Well, not exactly. There is a multitude of mosquito species, and all have different life spans, from a few days to a few months. And, while the winter will indeed kill some mosquitos, it certainly does not kill them all.
So, to say mosquitos die in the winter is not really saying much at all and not really answering the heart of the matter. Instead, the questions become– where do mosquitoes go during the winter? And what do mosquitoes do in the winter? Because dying is certainly not the answer, they are already doing that all the time in full force anyways!
In order to get a better understanding of what happens to mosquitoes in the winter, we should first take a look at an average mosquito’s life cycle and life span. The most common mosquito types in the United States consist of the Aedes, the Culex, and the Anopheles genera. Out of these types, the most prevalent (and annoying) for humans is the Aedes by far, as they are one of the few mosquito types that prefer to live near and feed upon humans.
The life cycle of the Aedes is truly efficiency in motion and looks like this:
Yes, Aedes mosquitoes certainly do live a relatively charmed life that lasts for weeks. The key to answering the question of how do mosquitoes survive winter lies in the impressive fortitude and longevity of their eggs.
So the eggs are laid on water and can survive up to 8-months, now what? Well, for the Aedes, that’s actually it. They lay their eggs just in time for winter and let the eggs do their thing. And, what are some common areas that collect water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs? Well, tires, cups, bowls, vases are all ideal hatcheries for next year’s batch of mosquitoes.
So you are saying that mosquitoes are laying eggs in my home and my backyard? Yes—and that’s not all they are doing!
You may be thinking that this can’t be true, because why are there mosquitoes in my house in winter, and not just eggs? This is because other types of mosquitos are a bit like bears and actually go into a kind of hibernation during the winter. They will tend to look for areas that have moisture and will hide until Spring and Summer. Common areas include animal burrows; sewer drains… and, yes, you guessed it– your home!
It’s a bit of an uncomfortable truth (but a truth nonetheless) that mosquitoes fly into your home, just as geese fly south for the winter. In fact, they are particularly fond of basements because they tend to be damp, cool, and dark.
Here, mosquitoes will enter their own form of hibernation, which is called diapause. A mosquito will go into diapause in temperatures starting at 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) and below. During this time, they burrow and lay low in stasis until it is time to wake up and feed—right about the same time you’re laying out those golf shirts and summer dresses.
Once you shake off the discomfort of that thought, you are probably asking yourself—how can I not be a lucky host to a swarm of mosquitoes for the winter? Well, the good news is that there is a solution. The better news is that it can be a year-round solution and not just for the summer.
Mosquito catchers and traps can be an effective response to clearing your home and backyard of these frustrating pests. They are easy and cost-effective. Just plug it in and turn it on- whether anticipating an evening on the patio or you happen to notice some unwanted guests during the wintertime, mosquito catchers are growing in popularity.
And, really, that’s all there is to it. So, the next time somebody asks where do flies and mosquitoes go in the winter, you will be able to surprise, impress and disgust them (in that order) with your newfound knowledge. And, with a new arsenal at your disposal, you won’t have to worry about mosquitoes camping in your home in the winter or using you as a buffet line in the summer anymore.
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