What Happens to Mosquitoes in the Winter in South Carolina?

It’s hard to enjoy the outdoors during summer when mosquitoes are out and about. These insects thrive in warmer temperatures, but does that mean that they die out once cold weather hits SC? Unfortunately, some mosquitoes are able to survive the winter months and increase their populations when spring arrives. Learn more about how these insects manage to get through the colder part of the year.

Adult Mosquitoes

Male mosquitoes only live for about ten days after mating, so no males are able to make it through winter. Female mosquitoes are able to go into a state resembling hibernation when it’s cold outside. These females find a sheltered place to stay, such as in burrows that chipmunks or other animals have dug underground. They remain in a dormant state until the weather warms up again in spring. Female mosquitoes are able to stay in this dormant state for up to six months.

Female mosquitoes sometimes have eggs that they need to deposit once spring arrives. This is when females head into the open looking for people to feed on. They need the protein found in blood in order to make sure that their eggs fully develop. A couple of days after feeding, females deposit their eggs in standing water, such as a puddle or birdbath. In general, female mosquitoes live up to eight weeks after laying their eggs. Keep in mind that they tend to deposit eggs every few days as adults, which can lead to a significant increase in local mosquito populations.

Mosquito Eggs, Larvae and Pupae

Younger mosquitoes are also able to get through the winter months, no matter how cold it gets. Mosquito eggs often remain in a dormant state in soil until the weather warms up again or when there has been enough rain. When spring arrives, these eggs hatch and enter the larval stage of development.

Larvae and pupae are the two developmental stages that occur after eggs hatch. Mosquito larvae and pupae sometimes go into a state called diapause, which is similar to hibernation, when the weather gets cold. During diapause, larvae and pupae suspend their development until conditions become more favorable for them. While they’re in diapause, their metabolism slows down considerably. This allows them to make it through the winter months and continue to fully develop in spring.

Mosquitoes in Spring

In SC, warm temperatures typically return early in spring. When the weather is also rainy, this provides ideal conditions for mosquitoes to come out of their dormant state and begin feeding. Since female mosquitoes are able to lay eggs several times during spring and summer, it’s important to work on keeping their populations down in early spring. Otherwise, you can end up with a mosquito problem that puts you and your family at risk of getting West Nile virus and other diseases that these insects carry.

You can lower your risk of having mosquitoes around when the weather gets warm by eliminating sources of standing water. Mosquitoes rely on these sources for laying their eggs. Removing them takes away safe places for mosquito eggs, which helps reduce their population. Having your property sprayed for mosquitoes also helps prevent a big mosquito problem from developing. When you have your property sprayed, this helps decrease mosquito populations and removes any breeding sites they might use.

If you do have mosquitoes around, take precautions by wearing long-sleeved shirts and using insect repellent. Doing this helps protect you from being bitten by female mosquitoes that are looking for meals in order to ensure that their eggs develop.

Get a head start on keeping mosquitoes from becoming a problem in spring and summer. Island Pest Control offers seasonal monthly mosquito spray to reduce mosquito populations and get rid of breeding sites. Contact us to learn more about our pest control services in SC.