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Where Do Mosquitoes Hide In The Winter?

It may come as a surprise, but mosquitoes, perhaps one of the most feared and annoying warm-weather pests around, do not simply migrate south for the winter or die off. As much as most people would like for this to be the case, these insects are like many mammals in that they hibernate until the big freeze decides to pass. Breda encourages residents to get a head start on their mosquito and pest control measures before the weather warms up.

Adult Mosquitoes In The Winter

While the life cycle for male mosquitoes is relatively short, typically only two weeks at most, it is the females that can survive up to eight months. Since they are responsible for laying eggs and continuing the population of blood-suckers, they seek shelter underground near the end of autumn.

Mosquitoes do not necessarily hibernate per se, but rather transition into a paralysis state called diapause. This essentially means their entire development is put on hold until spring arrives and the females become active once more. Throughout winter, the mosquito mothers fatten up. They store up to 10 times as much fat compared to their non-diapausing counterparts. You can imagine the protection this provides these insects from the harsh winter elements. Most female mosquitoes will bury themselves beneath leaves, tree bark and other areas that offer sufficient shelter for the winter.

Mosquito Larvae In The Winter

This process is common throughout many different species of insects, including the notable midge, a bug that has its origins in the frozen tundra of Antarctica. In addition to producing various sugars, sugar alcohols, and heat shock proteins that shield cell membranes from destruction, mosquito larvae are also capable of surviving without water. When in complete diapause state, they look like shriveled raisins. 

Since this is the time of year when the bugs go dormant, Breda recommends making the necessary preparations for when these bugs emerge again spring.