You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

Cold Comfort  Where do mosquitoes go when it gets cold? In some species, adult mosquitoes die off by winter, and their eggs lay dormant in water and hatch when it warms up again. Other species survive by hibernating. –

You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine. 

Mosquitoes! Just their name makes me cringe! I think I can even hear that buzzing sound getting closer! If I do really hear one, it’s probably because they can flap their wings about 1,000 times a second! But if it’s a male, don’t worry, they don’t bite humans, they only like to sip nectar from plants.

In North America, there are about 180 species of mosquitoes, and thousands more throughout the world. All male mosquitoes die after mating and usually don’t last until the cold weather comes. Even some females will die off before winter, but some species of females will hibernate. 

When an adult female mosquito goes into hibernation it is called diapause. Usually when it gets about 50 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler, they will fatten up to 10 times their regular amount and then burrow in places like hollow logs or cracks in the ground, going into stasis. There, they will wait for warmer weather to get them energized so they can finally lay their eggs, after which their lifespan is finished.

In order to reproduce and lay their eggs, they need protein, and they get that from blood, either human or animal. They are drawn to humans by carbon dioxide (what we breathe out) like a magnet, and to animals by their body heat and moisture.

Some hibernating mosquitoes can live up to 6-8 months, but most of this time will be in the diapause state. More hardy species that live closer to the arctic regions may take over a year to complete their lifespan and will often enter hibernation twice. 

Mosquitoes – whether they live from 6-8 weeks, or are more hardy and live longer than a year and hibernate at least twice – they are a fascinating as well as somewhat obnoxious wonder of nature!

An Aedes japonicus mosquito rests on the water surface from which it just emerged.

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