With winter quickly approaching, we can’t help but hold on to the hope that all those pesky mosquitoes will meet their end. While mosquitoes have a harder time thriving in the northern states, the temperature here in the Washington DC area doesn’t get frigid enough (usually) to cause mosquitos to seek shelter elsewhere. DC’s most notorious mosquito, the Asian Tiger, is especially hardy to winter’s bite.
So how do the mosquitoes make it through snow and freezing temperatures? History has shown us that mosquitoes are quite resilient, capable of surviving nearly anything. As much as we would like to have a summer without mosquito bites, that probably won’t ever happen.
How Mosquitos Survive Winter
In the late summer, female mosquitos will lay hundreds of eggs in low-lying areas that fill up with rain or water when the snow melts. Mosquito eggs are extremely hardy and can survive dormant for a few years, even in freezing temperatures and below ice.
Mosquitoes have the ability to go dormant and hibernate for long periods of time. Before winter strikes, mosquitos eat a lot, then seek out shelter in trees, yard debris, and cracks or openings in buildings. Once they find a safe place, they curl up and hibernate until temperatures rise again. Once temperatures are stable and warm, these hibernating mosquitoes awaken and begin their reign of terror.
Once temperatures rise and the spring rain starts, the eggs will finally begin to mature and within a few days, hundreds of cute (not!) mosquito babies will be flying around. In the summer, the males live for about 10 days while the females can live for two months.
What You Can Do
Keep pools and wheel barrows covered, keep tarps taut or hang them up when not in use, and turn over or remove any objects that can hold water. When the weather gets warm, these will be prime breeding grounds for mosquitos. Also, clean up yard debris like leaves and dead plants, as these are prime real estate sites for mosquitoes.
If you have a pond or use rain barrels, consider using Mosquito Dunks – a small tablet that releases Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI), a bacteria that kills mosquito larvae. BTI is harmless to humans, plants, and animals.
At DC Mosquito Squad, we know firsthand how bothersome mosquitoes can be. We’ve had clients with such a bad infestation that they were afraid to go out in their yard! Not only are mosquito bites irritating and itchy, mosquitos can spread deadly viruses and diseases.
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