Here in Georgia, the one thing we love about winter is that it isn’t as cold as the northern parts of the country. But there is a tradeoff. In northern climates, all mosquito activity ceases in the winter because mosquitoes are cold-blooded creatures. That means they cannot regulate their own body heat. When cooler temperatures start to creep in, mosquitoes start to slow down and become lethargic. When temperatures fall below 50 degrees they either hibernate or die. Here in balmy Georgia, winter temperatures rarely dip below 50 degrees F, and if they do they don’t stay there long. That means we get to enjoy the company of mosquitoes nearly year-round.
What Do Mosquitoes Do When It Gets Too Cold?
Mosquitoes have been around for as long as the dinosaurs, which means they have had a long time to adapt to changing environments. In the United States, there are around 200 species of mosquito. Here in Georgia, there are only three main species of mosquito; the Aedes Mosquito, Culex Mosquito, and the Anopheles Mosquito. Unfortunately, all three types of mosquitoes are known to carry a number of mosquito-borne diseases including; yellow fever, dengue fever, Chikungunya fever, West Nile virus, and malaria.
When temperatures drop below 50 degrees and it gets too cold for mosquitoes to be active, some adult females will overwinter. Some of their favorite hibernating spots include hollow logs, animal burrows, leaf litter, and along frozen river banks. Even if water freezes, eggs contained within can still survive and hatch when warm temperatures return. There are even species of mosquitoes that can survive as eggs in dry conditions for years until water returns.
Once they reach the adult stage, males and females part ways. Male mosquitoes take advantage of nectar from flowers and blossoms, while female mosquitoes seek out the warm blood of mammals. Female mosquitoes require proteins found in mammalian blood to produce their eggs. After she has finished feeding, she finds an area of standing water to deposit her eggs and in less than a week a new generation of mosquitoes will take flight.
Mosquito Prevention in Winter
As winter temperatures near, mosquitoes tend to slow down but they will not cease altogether unless it gets below 50. That means that if you think you can enjoy those mild winter nights without interruptions from mosquitoes, think again. They may not be as present and numerous as summer but they are still out there. By employing winter mosquito control methods you can prevent these pests from ruining your winter.
Remove Standing Water
You should know by now that the best method for reducing mosquito populations is by removing and eliminating standing water. As we mentioned above, just because the water in your birdbath is frozen, doesn’t mean the larvae trapped inside are dead. Mosquito larvae and eggs can survive in frozen water in suspended animation until the ideal temperature returns. Go around your property and check items for any instance of standing water, frozen or otherwise, and remove it as a mosquito breeding zone. These can be flowerpots, birdbaths, patio furniture, ditches, gutters, tire swings, grill covers, and other objects that can retain water.
Keep Your Water Features Clean
Water features should be drained in the winter to prevent any ice damage that can occur. Another reason to drain it completely is to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in them before the water freezes. After you drain your water features, make sure ALL water is gone or is able to evaporate. A female mosquito only needs a teaspoon of water to deposit her eggs.
Use Mosquito Lights and Fans
Enjoy your patio or deck this winter without being bothered by annoying mosquitoes and other insects by installing a few bug lights. These special lights give off a different frequency of yellow light that is not attractive to mosquitoes or other insects. You can also set up some fans or install an outdoor ceiling fan. Mosquitoes are very light and the slightest breeze can blow them off course. Fans can be a great defense against these intruding insects.
Call the Professionals at Progressive Pest Control
Of course, If you are having trouble with mosquitoes or other pests, your bet is to call the experts at Progressive Pest Control. We can protect your home from a range of pests from cockroaches to mice. Get your yard fully protected next year by signing up for our residential pest control program. Own a business? Protect your clients and customers with our commercial pest control services.
At Progressive Pest Control we stand behind every one of our products and services. We are so confident that you will be satisfied with our services that if you aren’t, we will come back out at no extra cost to you.
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