Mosquitoes are a real summer pest. They can make an otherwise great summer barbeque miserable with their bites. However, they are a curious creature. They thrive when it is hot and particularly when it is wet, but we only have to deal with them until the first frost comes. Yet, what happens to them after? Winters in Iowa are no joke and the cold alone should kill mosquitoes, not to mention how a couple of feet of snow should seal the deal. Yet, as the warm months roll around, they always come back. So it is often a question of curiosity by people who call in pest control experts in the spring to prevent mosquitoes: where do mosquitoes go in the winter?
Mosquito Winter Life Cycle
Most mosquitoes aren’t like geese. They don’t fly south for the winter only to come up in the spring to bug you again. In fact, adult mosquitoes will often die off in the winter, but what you really have to worry about is the children they left behind.
While the winter habits of mosquitoes can vary from species to species, typically when the temperatures start to drop, the adults will lay one last batch of eggs in areas that hold water. These eggs may freeze in this water, but they won’t die. They are in fact in a suspended stage of development during the winter months until it gets warmer. The areas will fill with water again and they will start to grow into the first blood suckers of the season. They, in turn, will go lay more eggs and the cycle starts again.
Winter Mosquito Control Tips
If you want to prevent mosquitoes in the spring and summer, you can actually takes steps in the fall and winter to make sure it is less likely. Our best recommendation is to wait until the temperature is consistently dropping into the 40’s or below at night. This will be cold enough to kill of the adults in your yard so all that is left is to make sure the eggs get removed. This can be done with a little fall yard cleaning.
When removing the mosquito eggs from your yard in the fall, consider cleaning the following:
- Birdbaths that hold water
- Flower pots and the water-retaining trays or objects underneath them
- Wheelbarrows that are not stored or tipped to prevent water retention
- The folds in grill covers that hold water
- Tire swings – It is recommended you drill holes in the bottom of tires for proper drainage.
- Trash cans or compost bins that gather moisture
- Gutters that become clogged with leaves and retain water
In these areas, they should be drained of water and then cleaned with either a solution of bleach or vinegar to completely remove the eggs from the surface. It should be noted that even if you drain the water away, if the surface is not treated, the eggs may still activate in the warmed months when the area becomes re-moisturized.
What to Do When the Mosquitoes Still Come?
You can scour every water-holding area in your yard, but mosquitoes might still come. Maybe your neighbors are not as diligent with their gutters or you live near a pond that you can do literally nothing about. However, if you are still having mosquito problems when the summer months roll around, this is where a pest control expert in Des Moines can come in handy. If you have chronic mosquito problems and want to talk over the options you have to prevent it, contact us today to see what Miller Pest Control can do for you.