Mosquitoes hibernate in the winter, do you know why?
That’s right, some species of mosquitoes can live through the winter, even in regions that get very cold.
Female mosquitoes, which have a much longer lifespan than their male counterparts, can live up to six months if they belong to a species that hibernates in the winter. This may not seem like a long life until you stop to consider that the typical lifespan of female mosquitoes that don’t hibernate is only six to eight weeks. Males are even less fortunate when it comes to lifespan. They typically only live 10 days or less.
Where Do Mosquitoes Hibernate?
Mosquitoes are cold-blooded so they prefer hot weather. So, when temperatures drop for the winter, many mosquitoes find holes in the ground where they wait until the weather heats up again. Mosquitoes can hibernate in other places outdoors too, like hollow tree trunks and exposed tree roots, as well as in sheds and other outdoor buildings where it’s cold.
When mosquitoes hibernate, their bodies transition into a state of dormancy where crucial systems basically slow down. They take in less oxygen, move less, and take in little or no food.
They usually enter this state when temperatures drop below 50 degrees, but can also trigger this state as a survival mechanism when they don’t have enough food to eat.
What About Mosquitoes that Don’t Hibernate?
Not all species of mosquitoes hibernate. For those that don’t hibernate, the female mosquitoes lay their eggs in the winter before dying off. These eggs will survive through the winter in water sources as shallow as a half-inch deep, even when they freeze, ready to emerge when the temperatures grow warmer again in the spring.
Mosquitoes can also continue to live indoors in the winter in houses and other warm buildings. They will often hide around entryways or above door frames, for example. That means it’s possible to still get bit by a mosquito inside in the winter, or even outside on days when it’s unseasonably warm.