Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Do Mosquitoes Fly South for the Winter?

It seems a shame that beautiful, harmless butterflies must travel thousands of miles just to reproduce, while measly, disease-spreading mosquitoes (and ticks, for that matter) can hang out in a pile of mud under the ice or inside a hollow log and wait until the next warm day to stalk us as their prey.

One might think that the silver lining in the arctic weather we've been having is that some of those skeeters won't make it through...it just has to be too cold, right? Well, unfortunately, we won’t see any reduction worth noting in mosquito populations come spring time, because they’re incredibly adept at survival.

Many mosquito species live through the winter as adults. Even if the adults don't make it, the eggs, or larvae, can survive in stagnant water. Interestingly, the males never have to suffer the cold. In fall, the mosquitoes mate, and the males die: Only females spend the cold months hidden in protected places, such as underground in animal burrows. When warm weather returns, the females must first find a blood meal (us humans!) to develop her eggs. Just when you're outside enjoying the spring weather, the newly awakened mosquito moms are out in force, looking for blood. Once they've fed, the female mosquitoes lay their eggs in whatever standing water they can find, and the process starts anew.

So, is there a silver lining in all of this? We take comfort in knowing they only live 2 weeks once they hatch...and we know where they hide!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I hate mosquitoes but they are the type of pest that is hard to rid since they could multiply pretty quickly. They are annoying when they bite and if you get even more unfortunate, it could infect you with dengue. - Pest Controllers London

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