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What Happens To Houston’s Mosquitoes In The Winter?

Serving Families Throughout Dallas, Fort Worth & Houston
a mosquito on a pile of snow

Our (mainly) mild winters in Houston mean that mosquitoes don’t have much of a check on their activity season or population growth like they do in colder places. Along with our abundant rain and humid climate, our mild winters allow mosquitoes to thrive in East Texas and the rest of the Deep South. Unfortunately for us, that means Houstonians sometimes don’t get a break from mosquitoes. We can wind up with them any time of year, especially if we’re having a rainy, warm winter. 

Winter Mosquitoes – Not Exactly What Frosty Had In Mind

Typically, when temperatures consistently stay above 50, the mosquito eggs hatch, and mosquitoes become active. Since our lowest low during our coldest month is only 45 degrees throughout January, mosquito season for us begins in mid-February and endures until mid-December.

Most mosquito species have two basic strategies for getting through the winter. Some varieties lay a final batch of eggs before the first freeze and then die shortly after. These eggs are impervious to cold and will hatch in spring. In other mosquito species, females will find shelter for the colder months and enter diapause: a sort of hibernation. Diapause doesn’t just help mosquitoes get through the winter. It also helps them survive all kinds of other unfavorable conditions like drought.

However, scientists have discovered that some mosquito species in our area can avoid hibernating by sleeping only on cold days and remaining active during warm days. That means mosquitoes may never enter a truly dormant state. For example, suppose we have a cold snap in January followed by a few warm days. In that case, mosquitoes can slow down for just those few days and then awaken from their pseudo-hibernation and resume activity without freezing to death. Even the winter storm earlier this year didn’t put a dent in our mosquito population.

Preventing Mosquitoes During The (Sort Of) Cold Season

Unfortunately, those wanting a long winter break from mosquitoes that either hibernate or lay overwintering eggs and then die are unlikely to get that wish living in Houston. That means you’ll have to stay vigilant against mosquitoes every time the weather warms up – especially if you live near bodies of water like lakes or marshes. 

To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the winter:

  • Use DEET or plant oil-based bug spray when going outdoors.
  • Wear tight-weave, light-colored clothes, preferably long sleeves and pants.
  • Reduce your CO2 levels by avoiding alcohol and exercise outdoors at peak mosquito hours.
  • Wear sweat-wicking clothes, as mosquitoes are attracted to the pheromones in sweat.

To keep mosquitoes off your property throughout the winter:

  • Reduce breeding opportunities by getting rid of standing water in your yard. Things like kiddie pools, dog bowls, and other water-holding vessels should only be filled when in use.
  • Plant flowers and herbs mosquitoes hate, like citronella, lavender, and basil.
  • Trim shade trees and bushes as much as possible to encourage soil evaporation.
  • Make sure window and door screens are free of rips and tears.

If Old Man Winter Won’t Get Rid Of Mosquitoes, What Will?

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to keep mosquitoes at bay here in Houston. We get so much rain and have such a humid climate that it can be tough to dry out the ground completely. Combine that with the fact that some mosquito varieties don’t need more moisture than wet soil to breed, and even the strictest prevention measures can fail.

The good news is that we’ve got you covered here at All-Safe Pest & Termite. Our mosquito control process can ensure that no matter how winter-proof Houston mosquitoes are, your property is mosquito-proof all year long. So give us a call or visit our contact page to schedule your service. 

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