When the weather cools, mosquitoes seem to vanish into thin air. But what happens to these biting insects over the winter period? These cold-blooded creatures don’t cope well with temperatures below 10C and need the heat to regulate their body temperature.
Once the temperature starts to fall in autumn, the ever-resilient mosquito prepares for the upcoming cold spell. Some females lay eggs in water during the autumn before hatching in the spring. Other mosquitoes will lay theirs once the weather gets warmer.
Males never survive past this season, though females which lay their eggs in the spring go dormant for up to six months. These mosquitoes find nooks and crannies to hibernate in before it gets too cold.
The winter-hardy eggs that were laid last spring will hatch into larvae once the temperature reaches over 10C.
The females that hibernated over winter will revive once the temperature Rainfalls make ideal conditions for mosquitoes as they love to lay their eggs in standing water such as puddles.
Most mosquitoes are active at dusk and dawn when the temperatures are cooler
There are three stages before a mosquito can become fully-fledged: egg, larvae, and pupa. Being aquatic in these early stages means that water becomes a priority for egg-laying females.
Once mosquitoes leave hibernation, they will feed on protein-rich blood, which is needed to fully develop their eggs. These eggs are laid and developed in standing water, and hatch within 24 to 48 hours, depending on conditions.
Expect more mosquitoes if you experience a wet spring. Mosquitoes thrive in swamp-like conditions, as this allows more eggs to hatch. Once the weather starts to warm up further, mosquitoes will avoid being out during the daytime. This is because their fragile bodies could get harmed by the sun, so they reappear at dusk and dawn.
To reduce the number of mosquitoes and other biting insects in your garden, get rid of any standing water.
Mosquitoes need water and warmth, so make sure to empty pots, planters, wheelbarrows and anything else that holds water. Trim your grass and dispose of any leaves and other natural debris as they retain moisture and provide hiding places for them.