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Contrary to numerous opinions, overwinter mosquitoes (Nematocera), although not all. This depends above all on their gender and the respective stage of development. While the males already die in the autumn, the females prepare for winter from about mid-October. They have already laid their eggs, which together with the larvae wait for the next summer in icy cold weather. Sometimes people are not sure even at minus temperatures before a mosquito bite. The following explains how exactly and why the mosquitoes spend the winter.
Winter mythIt is often assumed that mosquitoes survive only in warm climes. This is due to the fact that in autumn, the number of Nematocera usually decreases significantly. This is true so far, but that's because the male mosquitoes die leaving only the female specimens behind. These are also those who sting. While the male animals feed purely by plant juices, the females require, in particular after fertilization, additional protein, which they absorb from human or animal blood.
In Siberia, the female mosquitoes survive in some places even temperatures below 50 degrees Celsius minus. But depending on the mosquito's development, they have different strategies for surviving the cold season alive, in order to actively go on a bloody search for food the following spring.
The number of biting insects is thus less dependent on the cold outside temperatures, but rather on the spring. The more humid it is, the more they multiply and buzz in crowds through the summer and Germany's gardens or apartments.
winteringThe mosquitoes have three strategies that allow them to survive the winter even in extreme minus temperatures:
- as eggs
- as larvae
- as a female adult mosquito
Eggs and larvae have excellent chances of survival in wintering, as they offer little potential for frostbite due to their low water content in winter. Afterwards the adult mosquitoes go in search of their suitable winter quarters.
winter quartersFrom autumn, the mosquitoes are looking for a place to spend the winter. They prefer cool, dry and winter-proof winter quarters, which is why they like to use open windows and doors, especially in the autumn, to find a suitable wintering place in cellars, garages, cowsheds or garden sheds. There they fall into cold weather in cold winter conditions. In the water, the eggs survive the winter cold mostly in the mud or morass, for example, from a pond. Even in rain barrels you will find an optimal winter quarters. Here they are filed by the mother animals.
For mosquito eggs this is not true. A sudden frost does not bother them because they have no water or blood that could freeze.
As mosquito females can lay up to 300 eggs several times in a few days and start reproducing in early spring, the mosquito is definitely not threatened with extinction, even despite a possibly high mortality due to renewed frost temperatures after winter stagnation.
Only female mosquitoes and their eggs and mosquito larvae overwinter, while the male conspecifics die before winter. Most of these insects also survive icy temperatures in a winter stare or the eggs are almost completely frost-resistant. For masses of these stinging pest spirits, a warm, moist spring offers excellent conditions, as here the winter mosquitoes can multiply optimally. These tips help to make it difficult for these females and their offspring winter time in order to prevent mass propagation in the following year, or at least to minimize significantly.