When are Mosquitoes Most Active?

swarm of mosquitos near a plant

As the sun casts its glow, many of us eagerly run outdoors to enjoy the beauty of spring and summer days. Until we hear a familiar buzzing in our ears… The uninvited guests showed up at the party. But once you know when mosquitoes are most active, you can certainly avoid unpleasant meetings with these little vampires. 

We also have a firsthand experience pro tip for you: how to avoid turning into a mosquito dinner when they are most active.

When do Mosquitoes Come Out?

Most mosquitoes are active during the early evening and morning hours (dusk and dawn). Although mosquitoes do have a preference for certain hours of the day, there are additional factors that influence mosquito behavior, namely:

  • The weather
  • The species
  • The season

Weather

The main weather conditions that affect mosquito activity are rainfall, humidity, and temperature. Here’s how each one impacts mosquitoes’ feeding habits: 

  • Rainfall: Mosquitoes require water for their breeding cycle. Frequent or heavy rainfall can create more standing water sources, providing ideal conditions for mosquitoes to lay eggs.  
  • Humidity: Mosquitoes prefer high humidity levels as it prevents dehydration. High humidity also supports the survival and development of mosquito eggs and larvae. Areas with humid climates can experience higher mosquito populations and activity.
  • Temperature: Mosquitoes are cold-blooded insects, avoiding temperatures below 50 degrees and preferring warmer, humid weather. They are most active in temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Note: Weather tolerances can vary among different species of mosquitoes. 

Species

The species of the mosquito also plays a role in its partying habits. Just like us, some of them are late owls that like to go out at night and some are early birds that like to wake up with the dawn: 

picture of a mosquito sitting on a skin
Aedes aegypti
Photo Credit: PongMoji / Canva Pro / License
  • Aedes mosquitoes: Mosquitoes of this genus are aggressive daytime biters. Members of this species are among the most common mosquitoes in the U.S., especially the Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) and the Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito).

With crepuscular habits, their peak activity is during the sunrise early morning hours and during the late afternoon, around sunset. They can also bite at night in urban, well-lit areas. They are vectors for dengue, the Zika virus, chikungunya, and yellow fever, so take preventive measures against mosquito bites when engaging in outdoor activities.

mosquito sitting on a skin
Anopheles mosquito
Photo Credit: Henrik_L / Canva Pro / License
  • Anopheles mosquitoes: Anopheles mosquitoes are known for transmitting malaria. The two most common of these little creatures in the U.S. are the Anopheles quadrimaculatus and the Anopheles freeborni. 

Their activity levels generally increase during the evening and nighttime, with peak activity between dusk and dawn. They are less active during the daytime, seeking shelter in dark, shaded places where they can rest — akin to their cousin, Count Dracula. 

Culex mosquito
Photo Credit: doug4537 / Canva Pro / License
  • Culex mosquitoes: Culex mosquitoes are carriers of other mosquito-borne diseases such as the West Nile virus, Western Equine Encephalitis, and others. Two of the most common of this genus are the Culex pipiens, commonly named the northern house mosquito, and the Culex nigripalpus, also known as the Florida St. Louis encephalitis mosquito.

They are often active during the evening and early morning but can also be active during the daytime in shaded areas. They tend to rest in vegetation during the hottest hours of the day.

Season

Peak mosquito season is closely tied to the seasons of the year, as mosquitoes must have warm temperatures and water to carry out their life cycle. Here’s what a normal mosquito season looks like in the U.S.

Peak season: Mosquito season in the United States can vary depending on the region and local climate. It usually starts in spring and continues through the summer and early fall. Not coincidentally, mosquito-borne disease occurrence increases during summer in the U.S. In the southernmost states, however, mosquito season can begin earlier in the spring due to warmer temperatures. 

Preparing for winter: In late summer, some adult female mosquitoes will search for a sheltered place where they can prepare for winter dormancy. As temperatures start to drop during the fall season, they’ll enter diapause: a hibernation state where their metabolism slows down to endure the low temperatures of winter. 

It’s spring again: Once winter is over and temperatures start to warm up, female mosquitoes wake from their slumber. And along with spring, also comes the rain. This combination of precipitation and warmer temperatures starts the mosquito life cycle all over again.

The rainwater accumulates in gutters, bird baths, discarded tires, and tree holes, creating perfect habitats for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs. It’s worth noting that in warmer regions with mild winters, mosquito activity can persist year-round. 

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites During Mosquito Season

graphic showing how to control mosquito populations
Infographic by Juan Rodriguez

To prevent mosquito bites during mosquito season, it is advisable to take preventive measures:

  • Use insect repellents containing DEET
  • Wear long sleeves clothing and add screens to doors and windows
  • Eliminate stagnant water sources around your home to reduce mosquito breeding sites.

Eliminating standing water sites is the best way to avoid long-term problems with mosquitoes. Here are some of the standing water sources you should empty to get rid of mosquitoes:

  • Flower pots: Empty the saucers or fill them with sand
  • Trash bins: Keep the lids tightly closed and the trash inside a plastic bag
  • Old tires: Make sure to properly discard them or keep them in a sheltered area
  • Birdbaths: Regularly clean and refill the water (one to two times per week) or use a larvicide
  • Gutters: Make sure there are no leaves, twigs, or dirt stopping the water passage

When is the Best Time to Avoid Mosquitoes?

swarm of mosquitos in daylight
Photo Credit: Tunatura / Canva Pro / License

If you’re planning any outdoor activities and don’t want to be bothered by mosquitoes, these are the best times to avoid unpleasant encounters:

  • Midday: Mosquitoes are typically less active during the middle of the day when temperatures are hotter. It’s important to note, however, that some mosquito species can still be active during the day, especially in shaded or humid areas.
  • Windy days: Mosquitoes are not strong fliers and struggle to navigate in windy conditions. A gentle breeze can be enough to create an unfavorable environment for mosquitoes. As the song says “summer breeze makes me feel fine/ blowing the mosquitoes off my mind”… or something like that.

Whatever you do, avoid dusk and dawn: Mosquitoes are most active during the early morning and evening hours, specifically around dusk and dawn. Schedule outdoor activities to avoid these times so you won’t encounter hungry vampires like the Gecko brothers.


Firsthand Experience: How I Avoid Turning Into Mosquito Dinner

Teresa Joaquim
Teresa Joaquim

Living in a tropical climate, mosquitoes are active almost all year round, so I constantly have to protect myself from pesky mosquitoes even when minding my business inside my home. And let me tell you, I don’t like applying mosquito repellent frequently.

During the hot daylight hours, mosquitoes are mostly absent, but they show up to party as soon as the sun goes down. We close windows and doors at sunset if we don’t already have mosquito nets installed.

To fight the heat and mosquitoes at the same time, I usually keep a fan or the HVAC running in the room I am in. When this is not enough, my favorite weapon against mosquitoes is citronella. Citronella sprays are a great option and work very well in my experience. When the temperatures cool down, I also burn citronella candles and find them to help the most.

But here’s a pro tip: I don’t like the strong smell of citronella permeating the entire house, so I usually wet a cotton ball with citronella oil, place it inside a glass jar, and leave it close to where I’m working or relaxing. This simple solution gives me several hours of protection without the mosquito repellent.

Teresa Joaquim


FAQ

How Many Times Can One Mosquito Bite You in One Night?

There is no limit or estimate on how many times a mosquito can bite in one night. Female mosquitoes will bite and feed on blood as long as they have an opportunity and until they are full.

Are Mosquitoes Worse During the Day or at Night?

Mosquitoes are usually worse during sunrise, sunset, and night hours. However, some mosquito species can also be active during the day, as is the case with mosquitoes from the Aedes species, for example. If this is the case, you’ll probably find them in shaded areas close to our homes, such as in water-filled ditches. 

How Long Does a Mosquito Live?

Male mosquitoes live approximately one week, while female mosquitoes live longer, around two to three weeks. The mosquito lifespan will also depend on the species and environmental factors. For species that hibernate during winter, often in sheltered places like garages and attics, a female mosquito can live up to six months.

Buzz Off Those Mosquitoes

Instead of enduring their buzzing in your ear, get in contact with a mosquito control service to remove these gatecrashers from your home. Pest Gnome connects you to the best pest control experts in your area!

Main Image Credit: dmitry_7 / Canva Pro / License

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.