Mosquitoes – the tiny winged monsters that we all love to hate. And while most people don’t exactly love the cold, snowy days of winter, one perk is that mosquitos aren’t an every day part of our lives.

But what exactly happens to these blood-sucking pests in the winter? Do they die? Hibernate? Go somewhere else? We’ve got answers.

Mosquitos & Diapause

a black and white silhouette of a mosquito on a branchNot all mosquitoes are created equal, and the truth is that a good majority will die off once temperatures get low enough. That said, some are more resilient and can successfully live to see the start of the next spring season.

So, what do the more resilient ones do in the winter? They go through a process called diapause, which is a fancy way of saying “hibernation for mosquitoes.” It’s like when bears go into hibernation, but instead of sleeping for months, mosquitoes just slow down their metabolism and stop reproducing. The mosquitoes use this time to conserve energy and wait for the warmer weather to come back.

What Causes Diapause to Start?

Surprisingly, it’s not only the cold that triggers diapause. Instead, the length of daylight is a key factor to sending mosquitos into their winter rest. As the days get shorter in the fall, the mosquitoes start to feel like it’s bedtime, and they start to prepare for the winter. This process is triggered by a hormone called JH (juvenile hormone) which is produced by the mosquito’s brain. The mosquito quite literally feels like it is time to go to sleep.

Once diapause starts kicking off, mosquitos will typically seek out warm, moist places to camp out over winter. They might be found in leaf litter, under rocks, or in the crevices of trees. They will remain in these hiding places until the weather warms up in the spring and the days start to get longer. At that point, the mosquitos wake up from their long rest and then it’s back to business.

Mosquito Eggs in Winter

Now, the mosquitos that do die off don’t leave without leaving a legacy. The adult females of some species of mosquitoes will lay eggs in standing water before the winter. The eggs will remain dormant until the warmer weather in spring comes back and then hatch into larvae once the ice has thawed. These eggs are known as overwintering eggs and provide a way for the mosquito population to survive the winter.

And when we talk about laying eggs, we’re not just saying a few at a time… Females are known for laying hundreds of eggs before hibernating or passing away. Needless to say, being prepared for these hungry pests come springtime is a must!

Are You Prepared?

a tall tree with ice and snow hanging offSo, what do mosquitoes winter habits mean for you? With most either dying off or going dormant, you may think not much.

But think back for a moment to those first nice days of spring each year. Everyone’s upbeat, as they shed their coats and break out their flip-flops, but it isn’t long before insects are back in full swing – mosquitos include – to ruin the fun. Which means, come warmer temps, you can bet mosquito eggs will be hatching and any surviving adults will be ready to get back to their old habits.

Because of this, we suggest getting prepared early by reaching out to our team of experts. With our help, you can ensure you’re readily prepared against mosquitos (and ticks and fleas) as soon as the first nice days arrive back.

Another helpful tip? Clear away standing water first thing. As mentioned above, mosquito eggs survive best in damp areas, so once temps rise, those damp spots, along with any water-holding receptacles should be the first things to tackle. Clean them out, dump the water, and scrub off any buildup.

Don’t Put It Off – Ask About Our Mosquito Repellent Options Today

Next time you’re shivering in the cold, and you’re wondering where all the mosquitoes went, just remember – they’re probably hiding somewhere, conserving their energy, and dreaming about the day when they can fly around and annoy us again.

In other words, don’t let your guard down just because the weather is cold. Call today to get your mosquito repellent strategy started for the warmer months and to prepare your defenses against the coming onslaught of biters.

Mosquito Solutions Inc is your greatest ally in the fight. Reach out at 631-528-2029 or request an appointment with us online today.