Winter is a time when many animals, insects and pests stop being active or noticeable and find a place to spend the colder months. This is true especially in moderate climates where there are four actual seasons and winters that are very cold with freezing temperatures, ice and snow. And a common question we here is where do mosquitoes go in the winter?
How many of you have seen a mosquito in the winter? We’ve seen a few, but hunting them is how we spend our days. Most people haven’t seen any in the colder months, which makes them believe that in the winter mosquitoes are hibernating or just don’t survive. Yet somehow, mosquitoes are able to return to the living and pester us as soon as all the snow is melted away, or it starts to get warm enough (which happens way too quickly in San Antonio).
Well this is possible because mosquitoes are alive through the winter, they are simply less active, because they are cold blooded insects and they prefer warm weather. There are some mosquito species that lay their eggs in the freezing water or in the soil in late fall and afterward die, and because these eggs have a special shell that can withstand the cold of the winter, they hatch when the weather is warm enough. But these are only a small subset of the thousands of different mosquito species. For the bulk of the mosquito species to continue existing, they live even in the dead of the winter, and it takes extremely cold temperatures for them to literally die from the cold.
Well, why don’t we see any mosquitoes in the winter then? Because while mosquitoes are alive and well during the winter, they’re also hiding in dark and damp places that are protected from the cold. In the winter you will be able to find mosquitoes in places like hollow logs, below old piles of leaves and animal burrows. Interestingly, mosquitoes mate in the fall months and only adult females live in the winter.
When the winter has passed and the weather starts to warm up again, female mosquitoes go out of their hiding places to find a blood meal, because this is the only way they will be able to develop their eggs and continue their life-cycle. That is also the reason why the first mosquitoes after winter are so, and we think this is the right word, vicious. They’re hungry for blood and eager to feed to be able to lay their eggs in almost any standing water they can find. As for the few mosquito species that lay their eggs for the winter, these eggs hatch when the weather warms up again.