The Mosquito in Winter

Author: Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington DC

The winter of 2013 – 2014 was one of the worst ever, with Polar Vortexes, record snowfall, and extended subzero temperatures. With summer rolling in, winter is just a distant memory, and the mosquitos seem just as active as ever.

A lot of people have wondered: won’t the extreme cold kill off all the bugs? While stink bugs seem to have taken a beating from the harsh winter, mosquitos have proven to be 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. Mosquitos have been around for millions of years, and they’ve handled quite a few traumatic events in their time – ice ages, meteors, humans…

How are these Little Bugs So Resilient?

Mosquitos can go dormant and hibernate for long periods. 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 tucker in until temperatures rise again. Once temperatures are stable and warm, these hibernating mosquitos awaken and begin their reign of terror.

Okay, that explains how the adults live, but what about the eggs and larvae?

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 the ice.

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.

They grow up so fast!

At DC Mosquito Squad, we know firsthand how bothersome mosquitos 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, but mosquitos can also spread deadly viruses and diseases.