Just in case you are wondering where mosquitoes go in colder weather. After a sweltering summer, many of us look forward to winter and cooler temperatures with no mosquitoes. Sadly, during the winter months mosquitoes stay in the same areas they live in during the warmer months. The only good news is that they are not quite as active since they do prefer the warm weather; however, stay vigilant. It takes below freezing temperatures for mosquitoes to die. They will spend the winter hiding out beneath piles of leaves, tree bark and other damp, dark places.
In Houston we will continue to be annoyed by the pesky pests, battling them for the next several weeks. Mosquito control should still be on your mind as the kiddos still want to play outside after school while you are grilling yummy food. If you have a misting system, keep it running even if you spray less frequently. If you don’t have a misting system, now might be a good time to consider one so you are ready for the spring. In addition, grab some larvicide granules and pop them into standing water like catch basins and French drains. Remember to empty rain water from flower pots, containers, children’s toys and other places.
Do mosquitoes hibernate?
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) , how mosquitoes survive the winter differs by species. “Some mosquitoes may overwinter (hibernate) as adults, hibernating in places like hollow logs or burrows created by other animals. Other species may endure the winter in immature life states such as larvae and pupa, remaining in a state of diapause, suspending their development during the coldest months, says Dr. Michael Bentley, staff entomologist for the NPMA.
Remember, as long as there is water, mosquitoes can survive. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. The larvae grow slower if the water is cold -around 50 degrees – but they will survive and eventually emerge into adults. Freezing water does kill the larvae, but not the eggs. When the water thaws, the eggs will hatch and the cycle starts again: eggs, larvae, adults. When temperatures are above 50 degrees the larvae continue to grow into biting adults. They do enjoy the nice cool evenings – and you!
Zika, West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while West Nile virus is still the leading cause of mosquito=borne disease in the continental United States, they have received reports of 35 confirmed cases of EEE this year, including 13 deaths as of October 22. Theses cases are important to be aware of, as mosquito-borne diseases can travel quickly across regions.
Don’t Let Your Guard Down
So you will always have mosquitoes in the winter, their growth cycle will just be slower. Keep diligent and stay on top of your mosquito control program. Don’t let your guard down just because it is winter time.