What Happens to Mosquitoes in Winter?

One good thing about the end of summer and the beginning of winter is the disappearance of mosquitoes. Many people are sad to see the warm weather leave as the cold weather sets in, but the lack of mosquitoes in the air is definitely an upside to winter. 

But have you ever wondered what happens to the mosquitoes in your yard when winter comes around? A common belief is that mosquitoes simply die off in the colder months of the year. However, this is not always the case. 

The Mosquito Life Cycle

To understand what really happens to these insects when the temperatures outside drop, we have to first understand their life cycle. Most mosquitoes go through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, one of the most common species of mosquito in the United States, overwinter in the egg stage. 

So what does it mean to overwinter? This means that female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes lay their eggs prior to temperatures dropping in the winter. Mosquitoes only need half an inch of water to lay their eggs in, which is why getting rid of any standing water in your yard or outdoor space is a crucial part of mosquito control. 

The adult mosquitoes will eventually die off after breeding and laying eggs; however, their eggs can survive throughout winter by going into a state of diapause, meaning their development is paused for a few months. When temperatures eventually start to rise again, the eggs will resume development and hatch.

Adult Mosquitoes in Winter 

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), whether or not a mosquito lives through winter depends on its species. Some species can overwinter as adults by hiding in places like logs or holes in the ground (NPMA). 

By finding warm places to hibernate during the colder months of the year, female mosquitoes can delay laying their eggs until spring comes around again. This overwintering process, for both adults and eggs, means mosquitoes can get a headstart in the spring when it comes to invading your backyard. 

Preparing for Mosquitoes Ahead of Time

At Mosquito Authority, we take every step possible to ensure your home is mosquito free– and it stays that way. Here are some tips on mosquito control in the winter and preventing mosquitoes from surviving the cold months:

Get rid of any standing water in your yard

Mosquitoes need water to breed and lay eggs, but they do not need a lot. Because these insects can lay eggs in as little as half an inch of water, it is important to get rid of anything in your yard that could collect and hold water.  

Declutter your yard

There are a lot of items that can hold water if left out in a yard, including tire swings, trash can lids, and wheel barrels. Remember to consistently empty these items of any standing water and replace birdbath water frequently.

Use mosquito repellent

When spending time outdoors, make sure to apply mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Mosquito Authority takes all aspects of mosquito control seriously, from ridding your yard of these pests to ensuring they don’t have places to breed. Contact us for more information on our services and find a Mosquito Authority location near you!

Mosquito-Borne Illness: West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes are known for being a highly bothersome pest, invading your backyard and preventing you from enjoying the outdoors. But did you know they are also the deadliest insect in the world? By transmitting diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, mosquitoes cause hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide every year. One of those diseases carried and transmitted by mosquitoes is West Nile virus. 

As a mosquito control company, our main goal is to protect you and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses so you can feel free to enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind. Here are some commonly-asked questions about mosquitoes and West Nile virus along with some helpful information from the National Pest Management Alliance (NPMA):

Why are mosquitoes considered a dangerous pest?

Although most Americans think of mosquitoes as just a nuisance, they are much more than that. Mosquitoes are notorious for spreading several potentially deadly diseases to humans and animals, including West Nile Virus, malaria, dengue fever, and equine encephalitis. According to the NPMA, more than 700,000 children die each year from malaria in Africa.

Should the average American be concerned about contracting West Nile virus?

West Nile virus has continued to spread throughout the United States since 1999. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne illness in the United States. Most people infected with West Nile virus do not experience serious symptoms, while others can die from the disease. In order to reduce your chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts while outside when appropriate.

Are mosquitoes more prevalent during a specific season?

Yes, mosquitoes are most prevalent during the summer months. However, depending on the region and temperature, mosquitoes can also be active during the fall. Mosquitoes typically remain active until temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

Does the weather have an impact on the spread of West Nile virus?

Since mosquitoes thrive in high temperatures, they are more active in the warmer months. According to the NPMA, extreme heat and drought conditions might play a part in the spread of this virus. When the weather warms up, mosquito larva grows more quickly and the breeding cycle speeds up.

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?

Symptoms of West Nile virus are typically mild and usually mimic those of the flu. However, some severe cases can lead to a potentially fatal infection causing fever, body aches, weakness, confusion, and sometimes coma.

How can I prevent West Nile Virus?

There are several precautions you can take in order to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus. Here are some tips from the NPMA:

  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your yard and home by getting rid of all standing water. Common items that tend to collect standing water include grill covers, trash cans, birdbaths, tire swings, and more.
  • Screen windows, doors, and other openings in your house with mesh.
  • Minimize outdoor activity during dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin.
  • Contact a local mosquito control company

Our job as a mosquito control company is to help protect you and your family from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses. By knowing the potential health risks, you will be better prepared to prevent them.
To find your local Mosquito Authority, click here.

Tick Control: Diseases in Animals

At Mosquito Authority, we make it our priority to protect your entire family– including the furry members. A big part of ensuring the safety of your dogs and cats is knowing that they are safe from ticks and tick-borne diseases. That’s why we take tick control seriously; so you can have peace of mind every time your pets are enjoying the outdoors.

You probably know that getting bitten by a tick puts your pet at risk for Lyme disease. However, ticks can spread numerous other diseases to animals as well, and can even infect your pets with more than one at a time. 

Here are some tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted to animals:

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted by the wood tick in the western United States and the American dog tick in the eastern part of the country. It’s important to frequently check your pets for ticks, because they can contract Rocky Mountain spotted fever after a tick has been on them for five hours. When infected with this disease, dogs can experience joint pain, reduced appetite, liver damage, heart problems, or other serious symptoms.

Anaplasmosis

Anaplasmosis is transmitted by deer ticks and western black-legged ticks. Both dogs and cats can contract this disease. If your pet has been infected with anaplasmosis, they may experience vomiting, joint pain, and nervous system disorders, among other things. 

Tularemia

Tularemia can be transmitted by three different ticks in the United States: the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). This disease, also known as rabbit fever, usually affects cats more often than dogs. There is no preventative vaccine for tularemia, but it can be treated with antibiotics.

Babesiosis

Babesiosis is one of the more serious illnesses caused by tick bites. Usually caused by a bite from an Ixodes scapularis tick (deer tick), most cases of this disease are found in the northeastern and Upper Midwest areas of the United States. Babesiosis can cause severe problems in dogs, including high fever, depression, shock, and even death. 

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the more commonly known tick-borne illnesses, and a significant reason why we practice tick control. Like Babesiosis, Lyme disease is primarily reported in the Upper Midwestern and northeastern United States and transmitted by the deer tick. It usually takes about 48 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease to its host, so be sure to check your pets for ticks often and remove them as soon as possible. Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include fever, swollen joints, and reduced appetite.


Practicing tick control and preventing tick-borne illnesses is an important part of making sure your pets are happy and healthy. Click here to find your local tick control company.

For more information on tick-borne diseases, visit the CDC website

Species Spotlight: Brown Dog Tick

As a tick control company, we at Mosquito Authority make it a priority to educate our customers on these pests. Ticks, apart from being a nuisance in your backyard, pose many potential health risks to you and your family– including the furry ones. There are a variety of tick species that inhabit the United States, and it is important to understand the differences between them in order to practice proper tick control.

Last week we told you about the lone star tick, which tends to inhabit the eastern half of the United States and is responsible for transmitting diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Heartland virus disease. In this week’s Species Spotlight, we will be talking about the Rhipicephalus sanguineus, commonly referred to as the brown dog tick. Read on to learn more about where brown dog ticks live, what diseases they spread, and more:

Where do they live?

Unlike other tick species that are only found in a specific region, brown dog ticks can be found worldwide. While these ticks inhabit areas all throughout the United States, they are particularly common in the southern states. Brown dog ticks tend to infest areas where there is a lot of human activity, especially homes

How long do they live and what is their life cycle?

Unlike other species, brown dog ticks can spend their entire lives indoors and can sometimes complete their life cycles in just three months. Another thing that differentiates these ticks from other species is that they prefer to feed on one host throughout their entire life cycle. Brown dog ticks can also carry different diseases at different stages of their lives.

Are they dangerous to humans?

Although their name might suggest otherwise, brown dog ticks do in fact feed on humans in rare cases. When they cannot find an animal to bite, these ticks will resort to getting blood meals from human hosts. Brown dog ticks do not typically transmit diseases to humans, but they can infect humans with Rocky Mountain spotted fever on rare occasions.

Are they dangerous to animals?

Ticks of this species are particularly dangerous to dogs. As their name suggests, brown dog ticks can transmit a variety of diseases to dogs such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, and canine babesiosis. These types of ticks transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever in all stages of life, whereas they can only infect dogs with canine ehrlichiosis and canine babesiosis during the nymph and adult life stages. 

When are they active?

Brown dog ticks are active throughout the year during all stages of life, so it is important to practice proper tick control at all times.

What do they look like?

Nymph and adult brown dog ticks are reddish-brown in color. These ticks do not have any unique markings on their bodies.

How can I protect myself and my pets from brown dog ticks?

Here are just a few common tick control methods that can help protect you and your dogs from brown dog ticks:

  • Check your dogs for ticks every time they come back into your house
  • Remove leaf litter from your yard
  • Remove ticks right away if you find one on your pet 
  • Mow your lawn often
  • Hire a local tick control company

The more you know about ticks, the better you can prevent them from invading your yard. While there are preventative measures you can take to avoid ticks, the best thing you can do is hire a professional. To find your local tick control company, click here.

Covid-Safe Holiday Tips

2020 has been a long year for everyone, which is why we all deserve to enjoy the holiday season! Unfortunately, our celebrations will most likely look a little different this year due to the spread of COVID-19. However, that just means we have to find new ways to enjoy the holidays!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are plenty of precautions you can take that will minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 while still celebrating this season. Here are some tips for a COVID-safe holiday season:

Host a virtual gathering

While virtual Secret Santa parties or Christmas dinners might not be your preferred way of celebrating the holidays, they are relatively COVID-safe. If you can’t see family or friends over the holidays due to the pandemic, you can still make it special by seeing them over a phone or laptop. Virtual gatherings pose little risk for contracting COVID-19, which makes them a viable option for holiday celebrations.

Wear masks and stay outside where possible

If you do decide to see people over the holidays, make sure you follow the proper COVID precautions. The CDC recommends hosting outdoor rather than indoor gatherings and always wearing a mask to reduce your risk of contracting the virus. You should also bring hand sanitizer wherever you go, whether you are doing some last-minute Christmas shopping or attending a gift exchange. 

Have a “drive-by” party

For months now, people have been opting to have “drive-by” parties in lieu of birthday parties and holiday gatherings. If you’re itching for some human interaction during the Christmas season (who isn’t?), consider hosting a “drive-by” party where friends and family can celebrate from the safety of their own vehicles. Sit out on the front porch or sidewalk and enjoy the festivities!

Prepare homemade dishes and deliver them in advance

The pandemic is unfortunately forcing many people, especially those at high-risk for contracting COVID, to celebrate the holidays alone or somewhat isolated. If you know of someone who is spending this holiday season by themselves, consider delivering them a home-cooked meal or a traditional family dish. Just be sure to make a contactless delivery and take proper COVID precautions! 

Keep it in the family

For some, the holidays aren’t the same without family. If you plan on getting together with your family over the holidays, try to keep the gathering small and maintain social distancing guidelines with those you do not live with. While the CDC does not provide a specific number for gatherings, they do recommend limiting the number of attendees as much as possible.

Opt to shop online

Online shopping has become more and more popular over the years and is a relatively COVID-safe option for Christmas shoppers. Instead of shopping in crowded stores, try ordering your Christmas presents online to eliminate the potential risk of in-person shopping. If you do opt to go to physical stores, don’t forget to wear a mask and practice social distancing!

For more information on COVID-19 guidelines during the holidays, visit the CDC website.