We are not the only ones who enjoy those warm, summer days outdoors. The cold-blooded mosquito thrives in warmer weather, increasing their activity and making you more aware of their presence through their itchy bites.
Being cold-blooded insects, the mosquito can’t regulate their body heat, so their temperature is essentially the same as their environment. Temperature and mosquito activity therefore goes hand in hand with the insects flourishing in moist, relatively warm environments, functioning best at 80°F. Once the temperature lowers to about 60°F they become lethargic and anything below 50°F they find it hard to function at all. Sound familiar?
In tropical areas, mosquito activity forecasts suggest the insects are active year round, loving the conditions. In temperate climates, the adult mosquitoes tend to become inactive when the days become cooler and hibernate through the winter waiting for warmer weather. Those adult mosquitoes that hibernate can increase their lifespan to 6-8 months. Subfreezing temperatures will kill most existing adult mosquitoes at the beginning of the cold weather season if they haven’t found a place to keep warm and dry.
Some species of adult females however, lay their eggs in freezing water, which are submerged under ice. The adult dies, but the embryos survive the subzero winters and hatch when the conditions become more favorable, usually in spring as the temperature starts to rise.
Females belonging to the genera Anopheles, Culex and Culiseta hibernate in protected places, such as hollow logs or animal burrows and come out when the warmer weather returns. In order to survive, the female must find a blood meal to develop her eggs and reproduce, heightening their activity. As you begin to enjoy the first of the spring days outside, the mosquitoes are out in force looking for a feed! Once they are fed, the female mosquito can lay her eggs and continue the lifecycle.
Mosquitoes prefer humid, relatively warm environments and are especially active during the periods of dusk and dawn. Depending on the temperature, some species will continue biting throughout the night, which is why you may have woken up with itchy bites in the morning. If they are sheltered from the wind and in relatively cloudy areas, they will continue to bite throughout the day too. They generally stop flying around midnight, in cooler temperatures or when it is raining heavily.
The relationship between temperature and mosquito activity is not the only concern when it comes to these insects. Viruses such as the West Nile Virus can be amplified within the mosquito in warmer temperatures. The risk of the virus being transmitted to humans or animals increases when the mosquito feeds on the prey’s blood. Even some locations where there is extreme hot weather and the activity of mosquitoes is reduced, the level of the virus can be at its peak. When the temperature lowers to the preferred level, the mosquitoes with a lot of virus in their bodies become more active, resulting in an increase of transmission.
Although you might not see the mosquitoes during the winter months, they haven’t gone for good and have several strategies to stay alive during those cold days and nights. The activity of the mosquitoes is generally heightened when the temperature rises, perfectly timed as you spend more time with your kids outdoors or enjoying a spring BBQ with friends and family. To combat the invasion of mosquitoes and find out how you can spend time in the warmer weather outside without the pesky mosquito ruining your day, contact the trained professionals at DC Mosquito Squad on 571-830-8002 or email@example.com.
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