Alabama is home to about 60 different mosquito species. While some of these are just annoying bloodsuckers, others carry potentially deadly diseases. Regardless of the species of mosquito, they all have similar life cycles that begin with an egg. These eggs are laid individually on damp surfaces such as flat rooftops, unused pools, planters, gutters and discarded tires. After the eggs hatch, the mosquito larval and pupal stages are spent in water until they are ready to take flight as adults and continue their life cycles.
As with most insects, mosquitoes are most active in the warm months of summer. During the colder winter months, you are less likely to spot one of these bothersome pests. You might even assume they have died or are simply gone elsewhere. As it turns out, different mosquito species have developed a variety of ways to wait out the fall and winter seasons and cope with the cold until they can emerge again in the spring and summer months to bug you again.
The females are the bloodsuckers: They need your protein-rich blood in order to reproduce. Once the temperatures drop below 50F, they no longer bite, and they become less active. As the first frost hits, they go into a hibernation-like state called diapause, allowing them to survive the winter. Some species go into diapause as adults while others lay cold-hardy eggs, which remain in embryonic diapause throughout the winter.
Although these bugs are essentially “paused” during the winter, they are far from dead. They are alive and well, and it would take bitterly cold temperatures to actually kill them. Just like during egg-laying, mosquitoes like damp, dark places for their diapause states, and you might find them in well-protected burrows, piles of leaves, hollowed-out trees or logs, rain gutters and similar spots.
Once spring arrives and the temperatures begin to warm up, the mosquitoes begin to stir. They will need to find some more protein and quickly because their winter fat stores have been used, which means they will be on the prowl for a nice blood meal again. You might be their next prey! These mosquitoes are especially hungry because they must feed before they can reproduce, so time is critical.
Just because the weather has cooled does not mean that the mosquitoes are gone. In fact, they are just biding their time until the spring. A comprehensive mosquito management system is essential to ridding your property of these potentially dangerous, disease-spreading pests. Call MosquitoNix today to learn more about how you can end your mosquito problem or to schedule a schedule a consultation.