For a lot of animals, insects, and other pests, winter is the time when they stop being active. They have to find a place to spend the colder winter season.
This is especially true in temperate climates with distinctive seasons. In these places, winters can be very cold and snowy with temperatures falling below zero. One common question asked about our favorite insect, the mosquito, is where they go in winter. Let’s find out.
What Happens to Mosquitoes in Winter
Have you ever seen a mosquito in the winter? We haven’t. This makes us assume mosquitoes are either hibernating somewhere simply die in winter. But, in that case, how do mosquitoes manage to resume annoying us as soon as all the snow has melted and the weather warms up again?
Well, this is because mosquitoes actually live through the winter. They’re a lot less active in the winter months, though. These cold-blooded insects definitely prefer warm weather to cold.
If all mosquitoes died in winter, they wouldn’t be able to continue the species. If this were the case, the larvae of most mosquito species would be dead if the adults laid their eggs in late fall.
Of course, some mosquito species lay their eggs in the freezing water or in the soil in late fall, dying afterward. The eggs of these mosquito species have a special shell that can withstand the cold of the winter, though. They then wait until the weather is warm enough to hatch. But these are only a small percentage of all of the 3000+ species of mosquito that currently exist in the world.
The bulk of mosquito species live through the dead of the winter. It takes extremely cold temperatures for them to actually die from the cold.
Where Mosquitoes Go in Winter
But this leads to the question of why we don’t see any mosquitoes in the winter, then.
Well, the mosquitoes are alive and well during winter. But they’re hiding in dark, damp places that are protected from the cold and the snow.
In winter, you’ll be able to find mosquitoes in hollow logs, under piles of old leaves, in animal burrows, and so on.
Also, only female adult mosquitoes survive the winter. Male mosquitoes mate in the fall and die after the mating process. So, only female mosquitoes remain alive through the winter.
When winter has passed and the weather has started to warm up again, female mosquitoes will come out of their hiding places to find blood. This is the only way they’ll be able to produce their eggs and continue the species. This is also the reason why the first batch of mosquitoes after winter is so vicious. They’re hungry and eager to feed on our blood to be able to lay their eggs in any standing water they can find.
As for the few mosquito species that can lay their eggs for the winter, these eggs hatch when the weather warms up again. This means that the new mosquitoes are born in spring, continuing their species as well as our annoyance and torment.