A lot of things about the warm summer months are terrific, but the discomfort of mosquito bites certainly can be a headache. Though these pesky flying insects tend to die once temperatures drop, not all of them do. Some of them actually get through the frigid wintertime by going into hibernation.
Why Mosquitoes Often Hibernate
As insects, mosquitoes are indeed cold-blooded creatures, a la reptiles. They differ from humans in that their body temperatures adjust according to their current locations. This is why mosquitoes, like the majority of insects, tend to be more visible in warmer times of the year. Mosquitoes that reside in temperate regions do a lot of hibernating.
When female mosquitoes exit hibernation mode in the springtime, they promptly consume blood meals and then deposit eggs. Female mosquitoes that go into hibernation usually are ones that matured toward the end of the season.
Extended Lifespan Due to Hibernation
Male mosquitoes typically have much briefer life expectancies than the females. The boys typically live for 10 to 20 days, while the girls can often live for upwards of 100 days.
Hibernation can greatly extend the mosquito lifespan, too. Mature mosquitoes that go into hibernation can sometimes have lengthy lives of between 6 and 8 months. Although they're undeniably alive when they're hibernating, they're not at all active, however.
When it comes to typical hibernation spots, mosquitoes often opt for logs and dens previously established by other animals. Some of them even retreat to man-made structures to get away from the cold. It isn't uncommon for mosquitoes to hibernate in peoples' houses, often in the basements. Some of them opt for more secluded areas, such as sheds outside of homes.
Mosquitoes that inhabit frigid Arctic regions actually sometimes go into hibernation on two separate occasions. This also lengthens their lifespans, allowing some specimens to survive for more than 12 months.
Hibernation for Eggs and Larvae
Mosquito eggs that were deposited prior to cold temperatures sometimes can get through wintertime, too, via embryo hibernation. They can even manage without water, getting what they need once the spring comes around.
Some mosquito larvae overwinter, although this isn't too common. When mosquito larvae make it through the tough winter months, they generally stay in freshwater marshes, usually tucked away below layers of mud.
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