After a great summer of enjoying the outdoors, it can be hard to say goodbye to warm weather, your vacations, and summer activities. There’s one thing you won’t miss, though – and that’s mosquitoes. As the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter, you might notice fewer of these pesky insects as the temperatures drop. But where exactly are mosquitoes going?
The Mosquito Lifecycle
To understand what happens to mosquitoes, you must understand their lifecycle and habits. These insects have been around for millions of years and have continuously adapted to the environment around them to ensure their survival. The stages of the mosquito life follow this pattern:
- Female mosquito lays eggs in standing water
- Eggs hatch within 24-48 hours
- Larvae develop into pupae within 10 days
- Approximately 48 hours later, the mosquito turns into an adult
Male mosquitoes have a lifespan of about 10 days, dying after mating. This means that male mosquitoes typically never make it to the fall. Whereas female mosquitoes lay their eggs in the fall in areas where the ground is moist. This species depends on water and moisture in all stages of its life. Eggs that are laid in the fall can lie dormant until the following spring – hatching when the temperature rises, and the weather allows for enough rain. Mosquitoes can even lay eggs in frozen water, staying perfectly intact until warmer weather melts the water, allowing the eggs to hatch.
Surviving the Winter
When temperatures consistently dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, mosquitoes get the signal that it's time to go dormant in preparation for winter - thus signaling the end of mosquito season. Female mosquitoes will search and burrow into the ground, in trees, logs, or other safe places to enter their own “hibernation.” Occasionally, mosquitoes will make their way into your home, in areas like your basement or attic, to seek this ideal shelter before entering hibernation mode.
Mosquitoes in areas of cold temperatures or with a lack of water will enter a stage called diapause. In diapause, mosquitoes delay their development while slowing their metabolism. After taking shelter in a darker and warmer place, female mosquitoes will enter this state and stay in it until the weather warms up again or enough water is provided. They can stay in this suspended state for several months until the environment is ideal for the insects' needs.
Technically, this state isn’t the type of hibernation that you think of – they aren’t like sleeping bears. Mosquitoes don’t sleep until the weather gets warmer, rather, they stay in a suspended development so that their bodies aren’t affected by the change of the season.
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Why Do Mosquitoes Hide During Winter?
Mosquitoes are insects that have been around for a long time, so it’s no wonder they’ve learned to adapt to the cold weather. But why do they go into this hibernation state?
The simple reason why female mosquitoes hibernate during the winter is that they are cold-blooded insects. Their survival is dependent on warmer temperatures. When the environment they inhabit starts to change temperatures, mosquitoes take survival matters into their own hands. Adult male mosquitoes, however, don’t have the option to enter this state and tend to die off before the temperature dips below 50 degrees.
Out of Sight - NOT Out of Mind
As it seems, mosquitoes aren’t really leaving your yard when the winter season approaches. They might not be bothering you, but they’re still there awaiting the warm weather just like you are. Prepare to stop mosquitoes when the weather gets warmer with our Dynatrap® Insect Traps that can be used throughout mosquito season. Let us know how you act against these pests all year long on our Facebook Page. Stay up to date with the latest products, tips, and exclusive deals throughout the changing of the seasons by signing up for our e-newsletter.