Breakdown: How mosquitoes survive a cold winter

Published: Feb. 8, 2019 at 8:45 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - There has been so many theories on if there will be more mosquitoes or less after a cold winter. We have seen our temperatures go back and forth, so what does that mean for mosquito season?

While we have had a few brushes with arctic air so far, experts say that it won’t make much of a difference even if we end the 2nd half of the season with an extremely cold winter. According to studies, cold winters may delay the appearance of mosquitoes but it won’t decrease the number of them!

Mosquitoes can’t function at temperatures less than 50 degrees and become lethargic at around 60 degrees. Some females mosquitoes go into hibernation before we even get the first frost, and some do die when the weather is frigid.

The eggs that they have laid aren’t killed in cold weather. The eggs are instead in hibernation and ready to hatch in the spring. According to studies from Rutgers University’s Center for Vector Biology in New Brunswick, N.J. some eggs can survive years before hatching.

This fall and winter season the Mid-South along with many other places across the US had normal or higher amounts of rain according to the National Weather Service.

More wet weather could mean more spots for eggs to hatch, and better chances of an egg that has dried out for possibly a few years to wake up and hatch.

There are advantages to the delay of warmer weather is that mosquitoes prefer warm weather, so if there is a delay that could mean a shortened mosquito season. This would give more time for trucks to spray, which can disrupt growth.

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