Mosquitoes are not only pesky insects that cause those red, itchy bumps on the skin. They also carry many harmful diseases, such as malaria. This is why, as much as many people hate to see summer come to an end, they are also very happy that it typically also means the end of mosquitoes. Where do mosquitoes go once the summer months are over, though? Do they all die and if so, how do they come out in such great numbers at the start of spring and summer? Although many mosquitoes simply die off once a chill starts to fill the air, many others go into hibernation and are ready to come out once the air starts to turn warmer.
How Mosquitoes are Able to Hibernate
Like reptiles, mosquitoes are cold-blooded pests. This means that their body temperature quickly adjusts to the temperature of their environment. It is for this reason that mosquitoes, like most other insects, are seen more often in the warmer months. When mosquitoes do reside in colder temperatures, they will likely die off once winter hits. Mosquitoes that live in climates with milder temperatures, though, typically enter hibernation when the weather becomes a bit cooler.
In the first few weeks of spring, female mosquitoes stop hibernating and start immediately consuming blood meals and then laying eggs. Typically, the only females that enter hibernation are the ones that were more mature at the end of the prior summer months.
Mosquito eggs that were laid but not hatched prior to the colder months can also hibernate. This is known as embryo hibernation. The mosquitoes inside these eggs can survive the winter weather, even when they do not have any water. Mosquito larvae can even make it through winter, although this is much more rare. When larvae have to make it through a winter, they typically reside in freshwater marshes so they are buried under several layers of mud, where it is warmer.
Hibernation Means Longer Lifespans
The lifespan of a mosquito is not very long. Males typically only live between ten to twenty days, while females can live as long as 100 days. However, hibernation can lengthen the life of a mosquito. When males enter hibernation, even though they are completely inactive, they can live between six and eight months.
Arctic mosquitoes, which have an incredible ability to stay alive through hibernation in the most frigid temperatures, can live even longer once they hibernate. These insects are often able to live up to one year.
Locations for Hibernation
In order to hibernate, mosquitoes need a secluded and protected area. They often choose hollowed logs, and even dens where other animals reside. When able, they will enter into man-made structures, such as homes and sheds.
Our Missouri Pest Control Company can Help with Your Mosquito Problem
Although the winter months in Missouri are sometimes harsh, it is nice that they are also free of mosquitoes. If you need help with a mosquito problem this spring, our St. Louis pest control company is here to help. Call us at (636) 223-4804 to schedule a free inspection so we can get started on your infestation right away.