Do Mosquitoes Bite in the Winter?
Mosquitoes can throw a real wrench in your outdoor plans, especially if you’re planning on entertaining al fresco or enjoying a brisk outdoors adventure on a camping trip. While they are prevalent in hot, sticky weather, do mosquitoes bite in the winter? The short answer is mosquitoes are much less active in cooler months, so bites are less likely to occur.
Can Mosquitoes Survive the Winter?
You may notice that mosquitoes are at their peak during the humid summer months. There are many reasons behind this. Mosquitoes are cold-blooded insects, which means their body temperature is the same as the environment around them. They need warmer temperatures to stay alive, and during winter months, when temperatures drop, mosquitoes go into a dormant state.
Additionally, mosquitoes need water to breed as they lay their larvae in standing puddles, lakes, and reservoirs. Thankfully, this means a smaller population and less chance of bites during winter months! Frozen bodies of water prevent the mosquitoes from breeding and thus drastically reduce the number of mosquitoes.
It’s important to note that the severity of winter can impact mosquito activity. For example, mosquitoes can survive in tropical climates, even during winter. This is based on outside temperatures, and they will likely survive year-round in these climates. In areas where the winter is milder, mosquitoes may still be active; therefore, you are still at risk, but their activity will likely be reduced.
Why do Mosquitoes Bite?
Have you ever wondered why mosquitoes bite humans? To survive! Mosquitoes bite because they need a blood meal to produce eggs. Female mosquitoes pierce the skin and suck blood, which converts to a protein source. When a mosquito bites, it injects saliva into the skin, which irritates, including itching and swelling. Many people experience an allergic reaction to the insect’s saliva, which leads to scratching.
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. However, they can bite at any time of the day.
How to Avoid Mosquitoes During Winter
There are some exceptions, though. Several breeds of mosquitoes can survive colder temperatures and are active year-round. The Asian Tiger Mosquito, or Aedes albopictus, survives in colder climates in the United States and Canada and can be found active in the late fall and early Spring.
In addition, mosquitoes can survive winter in warmer indoor spaces, like greenhouses or heated buildings. For this reason, you should still protect yourself with mosquito repellents and wear adequate clothing to prevent bites, even during winter.
How to Treat Mosquito Bites
If you experience mosquito bites during the winter months, you’ll want to avoid scratching the area as much as possible, as this can lead to infection. Seek itch relief as soon as you identify a mosquito bite to prevent this. Tecnu’s Calagel Anti-Itch Gel is the ultimate instant itch relief for bites and other natural aversions. Apply the gel topically to mosquito bites for comfort.
This allergic reaction to mosquito bites can cause hives and swollen lymph nodes. If the area goes untreated or if the mosquito bite is unidentified, and you become feverish, this could be a symptom of Skeeter Syndrome. Contact a physician immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.