The start of fall for many brings a relief from the bothersome buzzing and bites. Maybe all you care about is that you don’t notice mosquitoes as much during the colder months—good riddance! But what actually happens to mosquitoes when it gets cold?
The “ideal conditions” for mosquitos include consistently warm temperatures ranging from 60° F (15.5° C) - 80° F (26.6° C) and moderate-to-high humidity levels. The optimal temperature for mosquito activity is generally in the 70° F (21° C) range. When conditions are too hot and dry or too cold and wet (think freezing bodies of water), the mosquito index will begin to decrease.
When the temperatures drop below 50° F (10° C), mosquitoes become inactive, while some have adapted to actually hibernate, others die.
Once the colder weather sets in, female mosquitoes will mate one last time. While the males then die, adult female mosquitoes can survive the winter months.
Females will either lay their eggs in a place that can withstand the elements until the following Spring, and then die—or they will go into hibernation themselves. Often they burrow into the ground, in trees, logs, or even indoors in a garage or basement that serves as an ideal shelter during hibernation. When the weather warms up they re-emerge and lay their eggs to start the life cycle and a new mosquito season all over again. =
Here are a few tips on how to disrupt potential mosquito hibernation shelters:
Drain any places that could hold stagnant water perfect for mosquito-breeding or hibernating eggs such as buckets, cans, flower pots.
Get rid of or fill in hollow logs and holes in the ground.
Clean out gutters and downspouts
Wipe down surfaces that frequently hold water (e.g. patio furniture)