Posts Tagged mosquitoes in the winter

Will a Snowy Winter Stop the Mosquitoes this Spring?

2014, thus far, has been a cold and snowy year for many parts of the country. States like North Carolina and Virginia have had more than their regular snowfall and freezing temperatures. What does it mean for the 2014 mosquito forecast?

Mosquitoes are very resilient. Their eggs (and some adults when properly protected) can survive through freezing temperatures. The tough winter may postpone the influx of mosquitoes, but it may also increase the number of the pests!

Mosquitoes can be active in temperatures averaging over 50 degrees and thrive in weather over 80. You probably won’t notice a lot of activity from theses nuisances until the overnight freezes become less common. This may occur later in the season than it normally does. When it does happen, it may be a bad mosquito season!

Mosquitoes can be dangerous when carrying certain illnesses like Dengue Fever

Integrated Pest Management will help you Fight the Bite in your yard

One thing mosquitoes need to breed is standing water. Exceptionally dry years bring less mosquitoes. So far, 2014 has had a lot of precipitation with high rain and snowfall. The rain, along with melting snow and ice will result in a lot of standing water, which could mean a lot of mosquitoes.

As America’s most trust mosquito control company, homeowners often ask us the ways in which they can protect themselves from pesky mosquitoes. To answer that question, we use the 5Ts of treatment, 4 of which have to do with standing water.

Not only is standing water necessary for mosquito production, but it’s also the center of their life once they are mature. Mosquitoes don’t venture far from the area where they matured, so if you take care of the standing water on your property, you are instantly decreasing your mosquito population.

Now back to the 5 Ts: tip, toss, turn, tarp and treat. Walk around your property and tip over items like birdbaths and planter saucers that naturally hold water once a week.

Toss out yard debris like grass clippings and leaves. Piles of debris naturally will hold water after it rains.

Turn over dog dishes and children’s toys when they aren’t being used.

Tarps, believe it or not, can be a great place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs when they aren’t pulled taut.

The final T is mosquito control is treat. Treating the property to cut down on the number of adult mosquitoes on your property is the best way to stop the bites. At Mosquito Squad, we utilize a mosquito control barrier spray to eliminate up to 90% of the property’s population.

Please contact your local Mosquito Squad if you have any questions.

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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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