While we don’t often think of mosquitoes in the cold winter months, don’t let them stray too far from your mind. Although they might not be active this time of year, it’s never too early to start preparing for the start of mosquito season. Prevention is key in mosquito control. While most male mosquitoes die off when colder weather moves in, female mosquitoes go into a state similar to hibernation called diapause. They are oftentimes fertilized just before they enter diapause so that they are ready to lay eggs as soon as the weather warms up in the spring. Mosquito eggs can also go into diapause. Female mosquitoes will often lay eggs in standing water just before the weather cools down for winter. These eggs will then go into diapause and then hatch once the temperatures increase to above 50 degrees Fahrenheit consistently. Because of this, winter is a great time to perform some do-it-yourself mosquito prevention techniques.
- Mosquitoes will look to overwinter in sheltered areas on your property. These often include garbage, yard debris, old tires, bins, piles of leaves, logs, and tree trunks. Make sure to keep your yard clean and get rid of any objects that might house mosquitoes through the winter.
- Mosquitoes will also look for standing water to lay their eggs in before winter sets in. If this water goes undisturbed throughout the winter, those eggs will then hatch once temperatures warm up. If you notice any standing water on your property, even during the wintertime, get rid of it to get rid of those resilient mosquito eggs. Remove or overturn buckets, wheelbarrows, unused flower pots, or anything else that can hold water after rain or snow. Rake up any leaves that fall during the season. Make sure patio furniture, play equipment, and outdoor toys aren’t collecting water, as well. Make sure gutters stay clear and consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs. Repair any leaky pipes and keep trash cans sealed tightly.
- Mosquitoes will also look to stay in tall grass and overgrown vegetation. It provides good cover for them to enter diapause through the winter. Make sure to keep your grass mowed and clear out any overgrown vegetation on your property.
- Consider planting mosquito-repelling plants such as rosemary, mint, and lavender on your property.
- Check the Mosquito Activity Forecast from weather.com before spending any time outdoors and dress accordingly. Wear appropriate clothing and apply insect repellent as needed.
- Invest in a professional mosquito treatment from a licensed pest control company. In our area, mosquito service starts in March so go ahead and schedule your service before mosquito season starts in the spring.