UNION, Miss. (WTOK) - In trying to look for positives during this current cold spell, you may think that this weather will help keep mosquito populations down come spring. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
“Freezing temperatures do not necessarily kill mosquitoes," says Robert Carleton, the business manager and co-owner of Mosquito Joe in Union. "Mosquitoes survive the freezing temperatures by seeking warmth in attics, and houses and buildings. And also, their bodies go through an over-wintering process.”
Not even low water temperatures can stop these pesky insects.
“The egg can actually lay in freezing water for months without being disturbed. Once this water temperature will rise up above 50 degrees, the eggs will actually begin to hatch out, so the freezing temperatures do not eliminate these mosquitoes,” says Tony Alawine, office manager for Mosquito Joe.
Once temperatures stay consistently above 50 degrees, mosquitoes will come out no matter how cold it has been.
“Only female mosquitoes bite. They use the protein from our blood to produce eggs. That’s why they don’t bite us in the winter. It’s because they’re not reproducing because temperatures are so cold. However, when temperatures increase to 50 degrees or above, they’ll start biting again to start the life cycle,” explains Carleton.
Since mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, there are ways to control the mosquito population before their eggs hatch.
“One female adult mosquito can lay up to 1,000 eggs in her lifetime, and in doing so, can also transfer any illnesses that she may have been carrying as well," says Alawine. "So by eliminating this water, or the source of this water prior to the 50 degree weather, we’re getting ahead of the adult population actually being born.”