When is Mosquito Season in Texas?

image of a house lawn in victoria texas

Texas’ sunny weather and clear skies are a blessing to its citizens… but unfortunately, mosquitoes love it too. So much so that mosquito season in Texas lasts almost the entire year: In some parts of the Lone Star State, mosquito season starts in February and lasts all the way to November. Read to find out more about how mosquito season develops in the state.

When is Mosquito Season in Texas?

mosquito season map

Because of the warm weather, mosquito season is almost all year-round in Texas. In the southernmost region of the state, mosquito season starts as early as February and lingers until November. For the rest of Texas, mosquito activity starts around March and lasts until September. 

Mosquitoes are cold-blooded insects, and because they can’t regulate their body temperatures as we do, they love the warm temperatures found in the state. And as spring arrives, the rainy season provides them with an abundance of breeding sites. Consequently, mosquito populations boom during this time of year.

But the mosquitoes don’t emerge all at once. According to Dr. Sonja Swinger, professor in the Department of Entomology of Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the mosquito boom happens in three waves, according to the type of mosquito:

  • Floodwater mosquitoes
  • Container mosquitoes
  • Stagnant water mosquitoes

Floodwater Mosquitoes

Aedes vexans mosquito with green background
Aedes vexans
Photo Credit: imv / Canva Pro / License

Floodwater species are the first to emerge. These large, aggressive biters like to go out from dusk to dawn. The females lay their eggs in areas that fill up with water after the first rains: moist soil around puddles, low spots in fields, and lawns and ditches. Some eggs can lay dormant for two to five years before hatching!

Although not carriers of West Nile virus or other diseases, floodwater species are big and mean: Some can grow to be 1 to 1.5 inches, and as their life cycle is short — lasting only a couple of weeks — they get right to the biting (us) part.  

Container Mosquitoes

picture of a mosquito sitting on a skin
Aedes aegypti
Photo Credit: PongMoji / Canva Pro / License

The second wave of mosquitoes comes with the container mosquitoes. The females of this mosquito type prefer fresher and clearer water sources to lay their eggs. They usually find such sources around our yards — tires, buckets, pet dishes, wheelbarrows, trash cans, and anything that can hold water.

Container mosquitoes include the Aedes species, with their characteristic black and white stripes. These are the daytime biters of the mosquito gang, but they will also go out at night if large groups of people are nearby.

Stagnant Water Mosquitoes

Culex mosquito
Photo Credit: doug4537 / Canva Pro / License

The third mosquito wave is represented by the Culex species. What differentiates these guys from the other mosquitoes is their preference for standing water rich in bacteria. They usually emerge as the summer conditions begin to set in, and the flooded areas dry out to become pools of stagnant water.

Culex mosquitoes are a big health concern, as they are the main vectors for West Nile virus. From May to November, they keep vector programs and health departments on the lookout.

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

graphic for How to Control Mosquito Populations vertical
Photo Credit: Juan Rodriguez

One of the essential steps in mosquito control is preventing a mosquito problem in the first place. And how do we do that? By preventing the formation of any source of standing water that mosquitoes can use as a breeding ground. Luckily, mosquito breeding in your yard is something homeowners can easily prevent:

  • Unclog gutters by removing excess leaves and branches so the water runs down freely.
  • Turn over outdoor furniture that can accumulate water.
  • Fill the saucers from your flower pots with sand.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet dishes weekly.
  • Cover rain barrels and trash cans with tight lids.
  • Treat large containers of water with larvicides (only if the water won’t be used for drinking and if there is no other way to cover or drain). Mosquito dunks are a safe, affordable, and easy option for bird baths and rain barrels in your yard.

But what can you do to prevent mosquito bites? Follow these tips:

  • Protect exposed skin with long sleeves and long pants.
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET.
  • Avoid floral-scented perfumes and body lotions.

FAQ

How Many Mosquito Species are There in Texas?

Texas has 88 species of mosquitoes as of June 2022, the latest record from the Texas Mosquito Control Association

Which Mosquito-Borne Diseases are Prevalent in Texas?

The most prevalent mosquito-borne diseases in Texas are the West Nile virus and the Zika virus. West Nile virus is mainly transmitted by the Southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus), while the Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) and the Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito). Other common mosquito-borne diseases are:

• St. Louis encephalitis
• Dengue fever
• Chikungunya
• Dog heartworm (Yes, unfortunately, mosquitoes also bite dogs.)

On a curious note: Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite humans and other animals? Male mosquitoes feed exclusively on plant nectar.

What is the Best Mosquito Repellent?

The best mosquito repellents contain EPA-approved skin-applied products: 

• DEET
• Picaridin
Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
• IR3535
• 2-undecanone
• Catnip oil
• Citronella oil
• Para-menthane-diol (PMD)

An important side note: DEET should not be used on babies under two months of age. For older children, the concentration of DEET in insect repellents should be no more than 30%.

Skip Mosquito Season

Mosquito season in Texas starts early, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with these pesky (and dangerous) insects. Skip mosquito season: Pest Gnome connects you to the best mosquito control experts in the Lone Star State. Don’t get itchy, get a pro instead!

Main Image Credit: Surely Shirly / Flickr / Public Domain

Teresa Joaquim

Teresa is a creative writer who holds a Master's degree in Psychology. Despite being a nature lover, she is terrified of cockroaches. As a native of the tropics, she is used to dealing with mosquitoes, although they still manage to bother her. Her favorite things are art, music, and playing with her two cats.