Do mosquitos hibernate?
Most mosquitoes spend the winter months as eggs, lying dormant in wait of spring snow-melt and rain to activate them. But there are some species that do indeed hibernate over the winter. Some will hide in the leaf litter on the forest floor, protected from the worst cold by the insulating snow until they thaw in spring. Others will hide in deep burrows or caves, hibernating until spring. Several species that do this have found that our modern storm sewer systems are ideal places to spend the winter. The mosquitoes that are the primary carriers of West Nile virus (the Culex genus) are among the species that do this. In some areas, the walls of storm sewer outlets can be covered with hibernating female mosquitoes. Up in my neck of the woods (western Canada), it’s the large, slow-flying Culiseta mosquitoes that hibernate for the winter. This means that these mosquitoes are usually the first ones you see in early spring – but they’re sluggish, slow and easy to smush. Later in the summer, w