We all know how annoying and even dangerous mosquitoes can be. But did you know that the best time to prepare for an invasion of pesky mosquitoes is during their “off-season?” That’s right—it pays to stay one step ahead of them!
Read on to find out why preparing for mosquitoes during their “off-season” could help you avoid a world of pain (and itching) later.
In order to understand where mosquitoes go in winter, we must first understand what happens during the process of mosquito hibernation. During times of cold weather or drought, adult mosquitoes will enter a state of dormancy known as diapause. This is similar to the state of hibernation that some animals enter in order to survive harsh conditions.
When temperatures fall below a certain point or when there is too little water available for breeding, female mosquitoes will seek shelter from these conditions and become dormant. They can remain in this state for anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on their species and the local climate.
Once temperatures start to rise or water becomes available again, these dormant mosquitos will emerge and start looking for food.
How does mosquito hibernation vary depending on the climate? In places with cold, snowy winters like much of Canada and the northern United States, mosquitos will typically enter diapause in late autumn and remain dormant until springtime, when temperatures warm up again.
In regions with milder winters, such as Southern California, mosquitos may be active year-round but will still become less active during periods of extreme heat or drought.
With the snow and cold weather of winter coming, you might think that mosquitoes are the least of your worries. After all, how can something so small survive a couple of months in below-freezing temperatures? Well, the truth is that even though cold weather may put a pause on these pesky insects, it’s still important to be mindful of mosquitoes in the wintertime. Here’s why.
One of the primary reasons why it’s important to prepare for mosquitoes during the winter is because of standing water. When snow and rain melt or accumulate during this time of year, it can create puddles and pools of water—the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes in the spring.
Without proper prevention measures, such as draining water from buckets and tarps or using mosquito repellents on standing water sources, these areas can become havens for mosquito infestations.
Another reason why it’s important to take precautions against mosquitoes during the winter is that they can transmit diseases like West Nile virus and Zika virus—and even though there may be fewer cases reported in colder climates, this doesn’t mean you should be any less vigilant against them.
Additionally, because many insects die off when temperatures drop significantly below freezing, surviving populations may become even more concentrated in certain areas, increasing the risk of disease transmission.
There are lots of actions you can take on your own to prevent a mosquito infestation come springtime, but one of the most effective methods overall is to contact a professional mosquito control or pest control company. These companies can help to identify potential breeding sites on your property and treat them with larvicide. They can also assist with other preventative measures, such as removing standing water and trimming back vegetation.
While different species of mosquitoes have different temperature thresholds, most of them can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, below this temperature, they will enter a state of dormancy known as diapause.
While it is true that mosquitoes are more likely to bite during warm weather, they can remain active throughout the year, even in winter, if environmental conditions allow it.