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!

Common Tick and Mosquito Myths

As a mosquito and tick control business, we know it is important for our customers to have all of the facts when it comes to these pests. Think you know all there is to know about mosquitoes and ticks? Here are some commonly-believed myths about these pests that might surprise you:

Myth: All mosquitoes bite

While it might seem like every mosquito on earth is out to bite you as soon as you step outside, that is actually not the case. The truth is only female mosquitoes bite humans, as they need blood to lay their eggs. Male mosquitoes, on the other hand, only need to feed on nectar and other plant nutrients.

Myth: Ticks find their hosts by falling or jumping from trees

While this is probably the most widely believed “fact” about ticks, it is a myth. Ticks lack the ability to jump and fly, so they will climb up a blade of grass or some shrubbery and wait until a human or animal brushes by. This is why trimming tall grass and other foliage around your yard is a common method of tick control.

Myth: Citronella candles are 100% effective

While citronella candles work to some degree as mosquito deterrent, they are not totally effective. In fact, regular candles probably work just the same as those with citronella in them. The amount of citronella oil used in candles is very small, so using a DEET repellent is a much more powerful deterrent.

Myth: Ticks die off in the winter

It is a popular belief that ticks, along with most other summer pests, die off in the winter. However, some species of tick, such as the Ixodes scapularis (blacklegged tick) and Ixodes pacificus (western blacklegged tick), can actually survive the colder months. Temperatures have to be below freezing for ticks to die, so there is a good chance ticks will still be around if you live in a warm region of the country.

Myth: Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with “sweet” blood

There is a common myth that mosquitoes tend to bite certain people who have “sweet” blood. However, this is not true. In fact, the taste of a person’s blood has nothing to do with his or her risk of being bitten. According to the CDC, Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and the lactic acid in our breath, so the odors we release play a big role in how attractive we are to these pests. 

Studies have also shown that mosquitoes are more likely to bite those with Type O blood rather than Type A, so your blood type might actually be contributing to your mosquito bites.

Myth: Drinking alcohol does not attract mosquitoes

Studies have shown that drinking alcohol, particularly beer, increases your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. In a study published by the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, researchers discovered that the percentage of mosquito landings on people greatly increased after beer drinking. In other words, make sure you are wearing extra mosquito repellent if you are planning on having a drink outside.

We take mosquito and tick control seriously so you and your family can have peace of mind in your outdoor space. Contact a Mosquito Authority location near you to take back your backyard and check out our other blogs for more information on these pests.

Mosquito Control in Your Backyard

Are you unknowingly attracting mosquitoes to your property? Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a ½ inch of standing water, so even items containing water the size of a bottle cap may be mosquito magnets. Many people do not even realize their yard is full of potential mosquito breeding sites until they hire a professional mosquito control service. 

With mosquitoes needing very little water to breed, even small amounts of rainfall or moisture can create a host of breeding sites in your backyard. An important part of mosquito control is preventing these pests from breeding and multiplying. 

So, here are some common places where mosquitoes like to lay eggs and how to prevent them from becoming breeding sites:

Birdbaths

Your birdbaths might be attracting more than just birds. It is important to frequently change out the water in your birdbaths (about once a week), because they are very popular breeding grounds for mosquitoes. 

Kiddie pools

Backyard pools are fun, but they can also attract mosquitoes if they are not cleaned out properly. If you don’t want to take the time to empty out the pool after each use, be sure to keep it clean and covered when you are not using it.

Tire swings 

Tire swings are popular sites for mosquito breeding because they can easily collect rainwater. Empty any tires in your yard after each rainfall, or drill holes in the bottom of tire swings to let the water drain out.

Toys and buckets

Remember to empty out any toys and buckets in your yard after it rains. These items are high-risk for breeding mosquitoes.

Flower pots

Flowers need water to survive, but that also means your flower pots may attract mosquitoes in search of a breeding site. Make sure to empty out any stagnant water that has collected in your flower pots and planters. 

Gutters

If leaves have gathered in your gutters and clogged the drainage system, that can result in a buildup of stagnant water. You can prevent your gutters from becoming mosquito breeding sites by cleaning them out regularly.

Trash cans

Garbage can attract a variety of unwanted pests. After a rainfall, water can collect inside your garbage cans or even on the lids. Make sure that your garbage cans are always tightly closed and that you empty any excess water from the lids.

Pet bowls

If you have any pets, water and food bowls left outside can become popular mosquito breeding sites. We recommend emptying and replacing the water, as well as cleaning the bowl, at least once a week.

Grill covers

Just like pretty much everything else left out in your yard overnight, grill covers are prone to collecting water. Frequently check to make sure water is not gathering on the top of your grill cover, especially after heavy rainfall.

Ensuring mosquitoes do not have anywhere to thrive in your yard is a huge part of proper mosquito control. For more information on how to ensure you have a mosquito-free yard and home, check out our other blogs.

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Most people know that mosquitoes spread diseases such as malaria and West Nile Virus, but did you know they are responsible for much more than that?

Here are some of the many mosquito-borne illnesses and some tips on preventing them:

West Nile Virus

First detected in the U.S. in 1999, West Nile Virus can lead to serious complications of the liver or nervous system, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or paralysis. 

Malaria

Malaria was thought to have been eradicated in the United States, but was detected in mosquitoes in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 2002. Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest animal in the world due to the millions of people who have died from diseases like malaria.

Dengue Fever

A small but important risk for dengue fever exists in the United States. Travelers may introduce 100 to 200 cases into the United States each year. Symptoms of Dengue include vomiting, rash, and aches and pains.

Zika

The Zike virus is primarily spread to people who have been bitten by an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. Mosquitoes of this species are active both in the daytime and at night, and there is currently no vaccine to prevent Zika. If Zika is contracted during pregnancy, it can cause birth defects.

How you can help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses:

Contact a local pest management professional

Professional mosquito control companies can help homeowners reduce their exposure to mosquito bites by inspecting properties for mosquito breeding sites, and treating to control mosquitoes or suggesting corrective actions. At Mosquito Authority, our priority is the safety and well-being of you and your family.

Prevent breeding mosquitoes

An important part of mosquito control and prevention is making sure these pests do not have a place to breed. Eliminate or reduce mosquito breeding sites by replacing all standing water at least once a week. Potential breeding sites include bird baths, ponds, pools, and toys left out in the yard.

Get rid of yard clutter

Remove any unneeded vegetation or trash from around any standing water sources that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.

Introduce mosquito-eating fish to standing water

Some fish that eat mosquitoes include Gambusia, Green Sunfish, Bluegills, and Minnows. Introduce these fish to standing water sources in your yard, such as ponds, to reduce the chance of mosquitoes breeding.

Screen windows, doors, and other openings with mesh

Use mesh that is 18×18 strands per square inch, or finer. Seal around all screen edges, and keep doors and windows shut to prevent entry of most mosquito species.

Know when and where to avoid mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are most active during dusk and dawn, so plan accordingly if you are going to be outside during those times. 

Use insect repellent on exposed skin whenever or wherever mosquitoes are likely to bite

The most effective repellents currently available contain the active ingredient DEET, in concentrations up to about 35% (greater concentrations do not offer better protection). Also, wear long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants, preferably treated with a repellent as well.


Mosquito control is not just important for your comfort, but for your health as well. You can visit the CDC for more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, and check out our other blogs for more mosquito control tips.

How do Mosquitoes Transmit Disease?

Did you know there are roughly 3,000 different mosquito species in the world? Out of those 3,000, about 200 species live in the United States. 

Many people may connect the height of mosquito season, occurring in the summer through early fall, to the itchy welts that accompany mosquito bites. But, there are far worse associations to make with these blood-sucking pests, such as the health threats they pose to humans in their daily lives—even in their own backyards.

Out of the thousands of mosquito species living all over the world, many have the potential for carrying and spreading various diseases. In the United States, mosquitoes are known to spread West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis, and chikungunya virus. These illnesses do not have specific vaccines or treatments, so year-round mosquito control is crucial. Other mosquito-borne illnesses include malaria, Dengue fever, and Zika virus.

How do mosquitoes contract a disease?

To fully understand the importance of mosquito control, let’s think about how mosquitoes can contract diseases in the first place. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the process by which mosquitoes contract and transmit illnesses is somewhat complex and generally consists of five steps:

  1. A female mosquito takes a blood meal from a human or animal host
  1. If that blood meal contains a germ, the germ must pass from the mosquito’s gut into its body. Therefore, mosquitoes can only transmit germs that can grow or multiply in their bodies.
  1. After the germ multiplies in the mosquitoes body, it travels to the salivary glands in about 2-3 weeks.
  1. Now that the germ is in the salivary glands, the mosquito can transmit it to a host. The next time the mosquito bites a person or animal, the germ passes from the salivary glands to the blood of the host. 
  1. The person or animal bitten is at risk for contracting disease.

Which mosquito spread disease? 

Now that we know how mosquitoes contract and spread disease, we can see which mosquitoes are responsible for spreading which diseases.

Aedes: Aedes mosquitoes are responsible for many well-known diseases, such as Yellow Fever, Zika virus, Dengue, and Lymphatic filariasis. 

Anopheles: Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of probably the most well-known mosquito-borne illness in the world: malaria. Malaria takes hundreds of thousands of lives every year, particularly in areas with tropical and subtropical climates. According to the CDC, nearly half of the world’s population lives in areas at risk of malaria transmission.

Culex: Culex mosquitoes are known for spreading diseases like Japanese encephalitis and West Nile Fever.
Mosquito control is not just necessary for your comfort, but for your health as well. To learn more about mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, visit the CDC or World Health Organization websites.