Mosquitoes are a well-known summertime pest, often showing up to ruin outdoor get-togethers and camping trips. However, just because mosquitoes are less active during the winter months doesn’t mean that they disappear. By understanding the life cycle of a mosquito, you can take steps to protect your home from the these irritating blood-suckers when the weather warms again.
Mosquito Life Cycle
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in the fall in areas of stagnant water. These eggs work their way into the soil and lay dormant until spring, when they begin to hatch. Warm, damp weather encourages mosquito larvae to emerge form the egg. Mosquitoes become active around temperatures of 80 degrees.
Male mosquitoes live brief lives, averaging a 10-day lifespan. They die after mating, and do not survive through the winter. Females, however, have greater longevity. Female mosquitoes go inactive in cold weather, often hibernating in a sheltered place. A female mosquito may be dormant for up to six months. Once emerging from dormancy, a female will seek a meal from any mammal, including a human. They will continue to feed throughout the summer and breed toward the end of summer and fall. A female mosquito can lay as many as 300 eggs.
Wintertime Mosquito Prevention
Cool weather offers a welcome reprieve from mosquitoes, and you can enjoy your winter months without the threat of buzzing, biting insects. Unlike many other pests, mosquitoes won’t be driven indoors in cold weather. However, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they won’t come back next year.
The best way to prevent mosquitoes from becoming a problem in the summer is to remove the conditions in which eggs can hatch. If you’re vigilant about keeping areas of standing water away from the home, you can prevent the larvae from hatching and growing once the weather warms. Eliminating areas of standing water during warmer months also prevents mosquitoes from having anywhere to lay their eggs.
You can also eliminate some areas that are likely to attract pests, such as wood piles. Rotting wood and other similar materials provides the warmth and shelter that insects crave, and keeping a tidy yard will help to keep mosquitoes and other pests away from your home.