Posts Tagged mosquito reproduction

How long can you expect mosquitoes this year?

I love fall. The changing of leaves, cooler weather, the pies! Last weekend, my husband, dog and I went for a long walk on a nice cool October morning. When we got back, we both had several mosquitoes bites that have been itching ever since. My husband asked me when the mosquitoes would be gone for the season, which I’m happy to share with all of you!

Mosquitoes are resilient little pests. You may have some cooler days in your area, but they won’t be gone for the season until the first good freeze followed by temperatures lower than 45 degrees. Until that happens, we should rely on mosquito control methods to protect us against the annoyance and dangers of mosquitoes.

Many parts of the country will have an active mosquito population until late October with some areas having some mosquito activity all year round.

In the fall, after mating, the male mosquitoes die. Very few male mosquitoes live through the winter. The females, however, go dormant in hidden, protected places like hollow logs. In spring, when temperatures rise again, the female seeks its first blood meal of the season to develop her eggs.

Mosquito eggs are even more resilient than mosquitoes themselves. They can last for years without hatching. Standing water is the key component to mosquito reproduction, without it, eggs cannot develop and hatch. When the temperatures drop in the fall and winter, the eggs and larvae go into diapause. Diapause is a state of dormancy that renders the larvae immobile.

The mosquito larvae do not put themselves into diapause; instead the environmental conditions place it in diapause. When the conditions change, making them once again normal for survival, the larvae and eggs will then continue into their normal cycle of maturation.

Unfortunately, many parts of the country are looking at several more weeks of mosquitoes ruining your outdoor fun. At Mosquito Squad, our effective mosquito control kills between 85-90% of the mosquito population on a property. If you have question about our mosquito treatments, please contact your local Squad.

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Mosquitoes vs. the Winter – Who Wins?

It’s February, wintertime, and last week I saw a mosquito, in my house! I have no idea where the bugger came from (it didn’t last long), but it got me thinking. I have never seen a mosquito in the winter before now, where are they? The answer: not far away.

It is true that adult mosquitoes that find themselves in the harsh winter elements, specifically freezing temperatures will die, but those that get out of the elements can survive. The majority of male mosquitoes die in the winter months, but the females don’t. Females and their eggs go into a phase of hibernation called diapause.

Let’s cover the mosquito eggs first. Mosquitoes need water to lay eggs and for those eggs to develop. While the eggs can’t advance through the larva and pupa phases of development in cold temperatures and ice, they can be frozen. When the areas they were laid in thaw and are flooded in the spring, development will begin again. Mosquito eggs are hearty and live up to 7 years and still hatch if conditions become conducive again.

Diapause is a form of hibernation that delays development. After laying eggs in the fall months, female mosquitoes find places that are hidden and protected from the elements, which could include drains, hollow logs, sheds, attics and basements. During diapause, they’ll live off of fat reserves they build up much like bears do. As temperatures rise, the females will once again become active and look to lay eggs in standing water.  Those that find their way into the home for diapause can become confused and wake when temperatures in the home make subtle changes. This is most likely what happened with the mosquito that I saw.

The best way to protect yourself and your yard from mosquitoes in the spring is to stop the eggs that have already been laid (and those in future) from reaching maturity. To do that, you have to get rid of the standing water on your property. At Mosquito Squad, we teach the 5Ts of mosquito control. They are simple, easy to remember and we’ve taken it once step further and created the video below to help homeowners remember how to fight the bite!

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Hurricanes and Mosquitoes

This week, our thoughts and prayers are with those that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Mosquitoes, like this poor guy, can’t sustain freezing temperatures

With the amount of rain that the storm dropped on a large part of the country, we have been receiving questions regarding hurricanes and if they can result in more mosquitoes. In general, more water means more mosquitoes, but November’s normal temperatures aren’t conducive to mosquito reproduction. While there are some areas that may be somewhat impacted, Sandy shouldn’t result in an influx of mosquitoes in the Northeast.

Temperature plays a big factor in mosquito reproduction. While mosquitoes can breed in cooler temperatures, their magic weather forecast is 80 degrees with 80% humidity. Fewer will breed when it is cooler outside, and when the temperatures are 60% or less for an extended period of time, mosquitoes don’t typically breed.

Much like they force me to sit in front of the fire with a cup of hot cocoa, freezing temperatures result in fewer mosquitoes.

Right now, some mosquitoes may lay eggs in the flooded areas of the country, and just because the water may leave, doesn’t mean the eggs will. Mosquito eggs are resilient. While eggs that are laid in water may hatch in a few days, eggs can lay dormant for years in soil or if frozen. When the temperatures rise again and the soil is flooded, those eggs will hatch just as those laid in the summer do.

While we don’t believe Hurricane Sandy will result in a spike of mosquitoes next year, it doesn’t hurt to get rid of the standing water on your property if you can. Tip or Turnover items that may be holding water like birdbaths, dog dishes, etc., toss out lawn debris like leaves that can hold keep a small amount or water, and tighten tarps so they don’t pool.

If you have any issues with an increase of mosquitoes, contact your local Mosquito Squad for an effective mosquito control treatment.

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