Do Mosquitoes Hibernate?

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.

What Draws Mosquitoes To Some People More Than Others?

Not only are mosquitoes attracted to some people more than others, but they may be attracted to you after different activities. By what strange alchemy does this occur? Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others? According to scientists, it’s mostly chemistry.

Some people naturally produce more of the specific chemicals that attract mosquitoes than others. Your blood type also has some bearing on whether or not mosquitoes will find your delectable or not. Your metabolic rate also impacts the choices that mosquitoes make when targeting their victims.

People Who Love To Exercise

After a wonderful jog, you may find yourself a feast for mosquitoes. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up in your muscles and joints and causes cramps. More lactic acid equals more mosquitoes.

Yet there is one other reason why mosquitoes like folks who have just finished jogging. They tend to have a higher metabolic rate than others around them. Nature’s great gift to the mosquito is the capacity to sense carbon dioxide. Since mosquitoes feed on mammals, and all mammals exhale carbon dioxide, what better way for a mosquito to find food than to locate the nearest carbon dioxide?

Metabolic Rate and Mosquito Attraction

As mentioned earlier, the primary way that mosquitoes sense prey is by detecting the carbon dioxide that they exhale. Those with a higher resting metabolic rate will tend to be more attractive to mosquitoes than those with a lower resting metabolic rate. Both pregnant women and obese people tend to have higher metabolic rates. If you’re not interested in purchasing a can of mosquito repellant (doctors recommend those with 15% DEET) then you can minimize the impact that mosquitoes will have on you by keeping at least one pregnant woman or obese person at arm’s length at all times.

What else raises your metabolic rate? Alcohol! Initially, researchers believed that the secretion of ethanol through sweat attracted these little buggers. But one study showed that simply wasn’t the case. Instead, it makes you breathe faster creating more CO2.

Type-O Blood

Those with Type-O blood aren’t just going to have a hard time in the hospital if they need a transfusion, they are also much tastier to mosquitoes. One study showed that mosquitoes landed on those with Type-O blood twice as often as those with other blood types.

Additionally, around 85% of folks send out a chemical signal indicating what their blood type is. Mosquitoes were far more attracted to those who secrete than those who didn’t, and they were the most attracted to those with Type-O blood who secreted. Sorry, guys.

Ankle Biters and Bacteria

One study showed that mosquitoes are more attracted to certain types of bacteria that naturally live on our skin than they are other types of bacteria. Our feet tend to be the areas where we have the most bacteria. Additionally, mosquitoes can’t fly very well in the wind. Even 1 mph of wind is more than the tiny mosquito can handle. For that reason, then tend to stick close to the ground.

The Color Of Your Clothing

Did you go through a phase in high school where you wore a lot of black clothing? If so, you may remember that you were more attractive to mosquitoes. Since mosquitoes stick close to the ground to avoid flying problems in the wind, they rely on the contrast between your clothing and the horizon to differentiate you from a car or some other inanimate object that emits carbon dioxide. Wearing light clothing can minimize your attractiveness to mosquitoes.

Genetic Factors

While scientists have yet to isolate every variable that makes one person attractive to mosquitoes and another person naturally repellant, genetic factors are believed to make up 85% of the difference. At this point in time, no gene modification treatment can reduce your mosquito exposure, but if you can find someone who is more attractive to mosquitoes than you are, you can essentially create a lightning rod.

Insect Repellant

Today, many folks apply insect repellant in the hopes of warding off mosquitoes. Cities are all spraying overhead to reduce mosquito populations. These pesky critters are the bane of human existence. No one wants to be bitten by a flying vampire.

Talk To A Missouri Pest Control Expert Today

One thing you can do to ward off mosquitoes is to stay indoors during dusk and dawn (when they’re the most active). But your home needs sufficient screens that are small enough to keep these critters away. Talk to Amco Ranger pest control today about creating a veritable fortress to keep these buggers out where they belong!

Find out what diseases mosquitoes could carry.

Protect Your Pets From Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes might not seem to be a big problem for furry animals like dogs and cats, but your pets can still get bitten in areas with only thin hair coverage, such as the nose, ears, and belly. Dogs and cats experience the same itching and irritation around mosquito bites as humans, however, a more serious concern is the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, especially heartworm.

Heartworm is a parasite that causes life-threatening heart and lung infection in dogs and sometimes cats. It is carried from one animal to another via mosquitoes and is relatively common in the United States. Protecting your dog or cat from mosquito bites is the best way to reduce the risk of heartworm infection.

Symptoms of mosquito bites

  • Constant scratching
  • Rubbing ears or nose against a rough surface
  • Red welts similar to mosquito bites in humans
  • Systemic illness from mosquito-borne parasite infection
  • Coughing
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Intolerance to exercise
  • Lack of appetite or weight loss
  • Vomiting (cats)

Types of animal-related infection carried by mosquitoes

  • Heartworm
  • West Nile Virus
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


Mosquito bites can be diagnosed based on signs of itching and irritation as well as the presence of mosquitoes. Bites that carry infection are undetectable from those that don’t, so heartworm is only found through regular testing, or when symptoms of illness are already present.

A small blood sample can be used to detect the presence of heartworm-related proteins. It takes six months for an animal to test positive for infection, so it’s recommended that dogs be tested at least once annually after they are seven months old.

Cats, on the other hand, are not typical hosts for heartworm. In cats, few worms reach the adult stage. Although, the larvae can cause fatal or sudden illness, so it’s important to get your cat tested regularly.

If your dog or cat tests positive for heartworm, chest X-rays or further tests may be ordered to evaluate the extent of the infection.


Insect repellent is often used to reduce mosquito bites in humans, but it can be unsafe for dogs and cats. Any spray designed for humans, especially those containing DEET, may be toxic and should be avoided. Choose a repellant that is tested specifically on your pet, preferably with the advice of a veterinarian.

If your dog or cat is suffering from severe discomfort related to mosquito bites, your veterinarian could prescribe or recommend a treatment to reduce the itching. Otherwise, no treatment is necessary.

Dogs that test positive for mosquito-borne heartworm infection are usually treated with an arsenic-containing medication given in small doses over the course of several months. This medication is not safe to use in cats. No treatment is currently available for cats diagnosed with heartworm infection. However, monthly preventive medication can be given to both dogs and cats and is usually effective at eliminating the risk of infection.


Individual mosquito bites will heal in dogs and cats, but continued exposure increases the risk of infection. Taking steps to make your house and yard as mosquito-free as possible in the summer months can reduce the chance that pets will be bitten. Since no mosquito elimination is foolproof, the best way to manage heartworm infection is with medication and regular testing. It’s important to be consistent and give each dose at the same time each month since missed or late doses can impact the effectiveness of the treatment. Pets should be tested before beginning a treatment plan and after any lapse in medication.


Both humans and pets will benefit from reducing the mosquito population around your home. In order to do so, avoid leaving stagnant water around your house and garden as this represents a great environment for mosquitoes to breed. Even if your dog spends most of the time indoors, mosquitoes can enter the household via open windows or doors, so consider using window and door screens or pet-friendly mosquito repellents to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in the environment.

Protect your dog with year-round heartworm prevention. A complete heartworm plan includes use of preventive medication and regular testing. Discuss the best options for your dog with your veterinarian. Prevention is the best medicine. Although heartworm disease cannot be directly transmitted from one animal to another, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito for a dog to get heartworms.

We Can Help

If you are having issues with mosquitoes, give Amco Ranger a call to get a free quote for professional, ongoing defense in your yard. Treatments are tailored to your property and are applied by certified, trained technicians. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of pests in your home in Cottleville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Louis, and surrounding communities.

Learn more about mosquitoes.

Why Mosquitoes Prefer to Bite Certain People More Than Others

If you are wondering what attracts mosquitoes to you and not other people this summer, you may be surprised to learn that mosquitoes actually know which people they like best. Only female mosquitoes draw blood because they need the protein to produce eggs. When making a targeting decision, a female mosquitoes’ choice is not random.

Studies have shown that mosquitoes remember the taste and smell of human blood and often choose individuals whose blood tastes “sweeter” to them. The following are common factors that have been identified to make a person more attractive to these pests.

Body odor
Bacterial colonies combined with sweat generate that sweet human scent we call body odor. Without the bacteria, our sweat would be odorless; with the bacteria, our sweat is one of the more attractive scents for mosquitoes. There are measures you can take like washing regularly to reduce body odor. However, be careful of fragrant scents that can also draw mosquitoes.

About 80% of people secrete compounds known as saccharides and antigens through their skin. Secretors are magnets for mosquitoes. Your classification as a secretor is determined by your biology, and there isn’t anything you can do to put yourself in the non-secretor category.

Blood type
Depending on the type of blood you have, you secrete different scents. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are most attracted to Type O blood and least attracted to Type-A.

Lactic acid
Lactic acid is emitted through your skin when you are active or eating certain foods. Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with a greater build-up of lactic acid on their skin.

Body temperature
The higher your body temperature is, the faster the mosquitoes will find you. Once they get within a few yards, they can sense the heat and will easily find you.

Dark Clothing
Mosquitoes are most attracted to dark colors. They use their vision to locate targets from a distance, and people wearing dark clothing are easier to see.

Perfume and Scented Lotions
Fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes. Floral scents are especially attractive.

Drinking Alcohol
Drinking alcohol makes your skin give off a chemical that attracts mosquitoes. Alcohol also increases body temperature, which is another huge mosquito attractor.

Pregnant Woman
Pregnant women attract twice as many mosquitoes as a non-pregnant woman. This is because a pregnant woman exhales more carbon dioxide than other people, in addition to running higher body temperatures and having more blood circulating through their bodies than the average person.

We Can Help

If you are having issues with mosquitoes, give Amco Ranger a call to get a free quote for professional, ongoing defense in your yard. Treatments are tailored to your property and are applied by certified, trained technicians. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of pests in your home in Cottleville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Louis, and surrounding communities.

What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Carry?

Mosquitoes are more than just buzzing-in-your-ear nuisances causing itchy skin when you get bit. They also carry deadly diseases. In fact, mosquitoes are one of the deadliest creatures in the world because of the many diseases they can transmit.

The primary diseases they carry include:

West Nile virus

In the United States, the West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease. It can be largely asymptomatic, but 20 percent of people who get the disease develop symptoms such as a fever, diarrhea, stiff neck, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle weakness. The virus can develop to the point where it starts to impact your central nervous system, too, which causes violent convulsions and paralysis. There were more than 2,500 West Nile cases reported in the United States in 2018, according to the CDC.


This is the most deadly mosquito-borne disease. In 2015, there were hundreds of millions of cases of malaria reported, and nearly 500,000 deaths because of the disease. This makes up more than half of all deaths that come from mosquito-borne illnesses. The primary symptoms of malaria are high fever, chills, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Yellow fever

This disease is named after the yellow-ish hue it can cause in patients as a result of jaundice (a condition that affects the liver), which is a symptom of yellow fever. Other symptoms include headaches, fever, and fatigue. Yellow fever is a highly fatal disease if it’s contracted – half the people who get it die within a week to 10 days, according to the World Health Organization. However, it is preventable with a vaccination. It is currently most prevalent in Central America, South America, and Africa, and it causes between 30,000 and 60,000 deaths per year.


This disease is largely asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. If it does show symptoms, they may appear in the form of a fever, skin rash, headache, joint pain, and more. However, Zika has proven to have more severe effects on pregnant women and leads to babies being born with brain and head defects.

Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis reveals itself with vomiting, headaches, a high fever, and joint and muscle pain. The symptoms take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to show up after you’ve been bitten. The disease is present in mosquitoes ranging from northern Asia all the way to almost every tropical region in the world, according to the CDC. There is a vaccine for Japanese encephalitis.

It should be noted that just because you are bitten by a mosquito, doesn’t mean you have been infected with a disease. If you suspect you may have a mosquito-borne illness, see your doctor.

We Can Help

If you are having issues with mosquitoes, give Amco Ranger a call to get a free quote for professional, ongoing defense in your yard. Treatments are tailored to your property and are applied by certified, trained technicians. Give us a call today if you need help getting rid of pests in your home in Cottleville, St. Peters, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Louis, and surrounding communities.

Prepare Your Yard to Guard Against Mosquitoes

It’s mosquito season. With over 3,500 species of mosquitoes out there laying 100-300 eggs at a time, they can’t wait to start bugging us. They are everywhere, but there are actions you can take to get your yard and home ready so mosquitoes don’t eat you alive this summer.


Here are a few things you can do for your own mosquito pest control:


Eliminate Standing Water

Get rid of standing water, and eliminate opportunities for it to accumulate. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes; they lay eggs on the surface of standing water, and only need a quarter of an inch to do so.

  • Remove items from your yard that might catch rainwater, such as unused plant pots, wheelbarrows, and children’s toys.
  • For containers that constantly have water, such as birdbaths, clean and refresh the water at least once a week.
  • Drill holes in tire swings, trashcans and recycle bins to allow water to drain out easily.
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets to avoid water pooling underneath them.
  • Tackle ponds by installing an aeration pump, fountain or water bubbler to keep the water circulating continuously and prevent the chance for mosquito larvae to mature.
  • Clear out your gutters so that water can move freely down the spout instead of pooling there.
  • Get rid of blockages in the ditches near your home so that storm water moves out of them quickly.
  • Fill low spots in your yard with soil, or improve drainage so that water doesn’t remain after a storm.
  • Remove old leaves, which can trap moisture and invite mosquitoes and other pests.


Keep Vegetation Short

Keep your grass and shrubs cut short. Mosquitoes are shrub hoppers and gather to rest in shady, cool areas, which is why it’s best to keep your yard weed free and avoid any overgrown vegetation.


Hang Mosquito Netting

Hang some mosquito netting around decks and patios to block off the areas where you know you’ll be hanging out. Be sure to place the netting around the perimeter, as well as over the top. Buy netting with small holes that is specifically designed to keep mosquitoes out.


Switch to Yellow Bug Lights

When preparing your outdoor space for the summer, choose opaque, yellow bug lights to lessen the number of mosquito swarms. Yellow bug lights transmit different wavelengths that are less visible to insects. Therefore, fewer mosquitoes and bugs are attracted to your space.


Scout Out Entry Points

Cracks, gaps, screens and other vulnerable areas of your home are opportunities for pests to enter. Make sure that any entry points are properly secured around the house to prevent unwanted insect guests.


Call a Pest Control Company

Following these tips can significantly decrease the mosquito population around your home. If you are still having issues with mosquitoes, give Amco Ranger a call to get a free quote for professional, ongoing defense in your yard. Treatments are tailored to your property and are applied by certified, trained technicians.

Learn more about lawn care from the professionals with these tips.