If you’re wondering, “When is mosquito season?” you are not alone. A great way to know when to grab your mosquito repellent is when the temperatures consistently stay above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This seems to be the magic threshold to keep them warm enough to mate, eat, reproduce, and thrive.
Mosquito Season By Region
Mosquito season varies depending on the climate of the region. In warmer areas, mosquito season can start as early as February and last longer.
However, in some parts of the United States, residents may not see the first mosquito until May or June. In South Florida and Hawaii, mosquito season can last throughout the year, although their peak is June through August when temperatures spike.
Mosquito Activity By Season
Since mosquitoes are ectothermic (cold-blooded) creatures, their body temperature is regulated by the temperature of their environment. This is in contrast with humans and other warm-blooded animals, whose bodies maintain a constant internal temperature regardless of their surroundings.
Mosquito Season Begins in the Spring
Mosquito season starts in spring when the temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The mosquitoes are most active when the temperatures range between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. (They are somewhat active between 50 and 60 degrees, but sluggish.)
In spring, females emerge from hibernation, and eggs laid the previous year start to hatch. As the temperatures continue to rise, the mosquitoes will be warmed up to hatch, eat, and “live their best life.”
The breeding cycle begins as well. Enter the male — he mates and then dies. The poor male mosquitoes have an extremely short lifespan of around 10 days.
Note: After mating, female mosquitoes need a good meal to produce new eggs. Human or animal blood is required for her to produce offspring.
Mosquitoes in Summer
Mosquitoes thrive in warm and wet environments, and they love summer! It’s party time, and they are most active now. Additionally, the warmer temperatures speed up their life cycle, leading to more hatching and egg-laying.
Mosquitoes in Fall and Winter
Depending on the species, mosquitoes start to get sluggish in the fall, and females will hunt for places to hibernate. When temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, females go into diapause.
This state of diapause, or dormancy, puts their bodies in a “suspended development,” which slows down their metabolism and delays development. They will emerge from diapause when temperatures stay consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mosquito Control Preparations
Homeowners can limit mosquito breeding by eliminating any standing/stagnant water in backyards, house gutters, hollow trees, and any containers holding water. Female mosquitoes need only one bottle cap’s worth of water to lay their eggs.
Here are a few other simple steps to prevent mosquito bites and control mosquitoes around your home:
- Drill holes in recycling container bottoms to let any water drain out.
- Turn over wheelbarrows and little kids’ plastic pools when you are not using them.
- Use a floating pond fountain to keep the water moving in your ornamental pond.
- Stock your pond with fish that eat mosquito larvae. Gambusia affinis fish, also called mosquitofish, devour the larvae right after they hatch from eggs.
- Check boats stored for standing water on your property.
- Use a larvicide, such as Bti, in bird baths to kill mosquito larvae.
If you want to keep standing water in your birdbath or shallow pond, there is an effective mosquito control method called a mosquito dunk. A dunk is a non-toxic, natural soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) which is an active microorganism that prevents mosquito larvae from surviving.
When the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, mosquitoes disappear from sight, and mosquito season ends. It’s like the magic show, “Now, you see them. Now, you don’t.” Some female mosquitoes go into hibernation over winter, only to rear their annoying heads in the spring.
• Use a mosquito repellent that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), p-Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanoate.
• Treat clothing and gear with 0.5% permethrin
• Limit outdoor activity during dusk and dawn
• Install a screened-in enclosure to prevent mosquitoes from getting to you
• Wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants when outdoors
• Spray a mosquito yard spray (adulticide) around your property for short-term control (before an outdoor event). Use larvicides and eliminate standing water from around your home for long-term control.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states, “Of the over 200 types of mosquitoes in the United States and U.S. territories, about 12 types spread germs.”
Depending on the species and the location, mosquitoes are known to transmit various diseases to humans, including West Nile virus, dengue, Zika virus, malaria, encephalitis, and yellow fever.
It is important to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, especially in areas where these diseases are prevalent.
Call In The Pros
To have someone else take care of these pests during mosquito season, contact Pest Gnome to connect you to your area’s best pest control experts. They have the knowledge and can take care of your mosquito issues during this year’s active mosquito season.
Main Photo Credit: Pexels