Despite the chill in the air, every year there comes a day when you step outside and you can just feel it – spring is coming! If you're anything like most Minnesotans, you're probably ready to dig out the lawn furniture and barbecue at that first sign of spring (we like to take it a step further, give us a 40-degree day in March and we're strutting around in shorts...). But we're not the only ones hibernating indoors, waiting for warmer weather. That's right, the mosquitoes are busting out their shorts to get ready for a feast too!
Mosquitoes are cold-blooded so as the weather cools off in the fall, some mosquitoes die, while some females and large pupae (think tadpole becoming a frog) hibernate.1 When temperatures start reaching 50 degrees in the springtime, those that were hibernating start getting active again. As the weather goes from warm to hot throughout the summer, mosquito activity increases until it eventually dies down again in the fall.2 As a bonus, mosquito eggs are winter hardy, so all the eggs that didn't hatch last year just need some warm weather and water to start hatching into larvae. Mosquito eggs can even survive drying out and lay dormant for several years, which is why summers with a lot of flooding can see a big increase in mosquito numbers.3
So when is mosquito season? The answer depends upon where you live, but the number to keep in mind is 50 degrees.
In the Midwest, look for mosquitoes to come out in mid-April or early-May and head back into hibernation in mid-October.
In the Northeast, mosquito season also starts in mid-April or early-May but ends a little bit later in mid-to late-October.
In the Northwest, the mosquitoes come and go a bit earlier. Mosquito season begins around mid-April and ends in early October.
The Southeast has it rough as the warmest and wettest area. Mosquito season usually starts in February or April and doesn't end until mid-October or early November.
The Southwest might be more arid, but mosquitoes only need about a teaspoon of water to lay their eggs so, with the warmer weather, mosquitoes also roam this region from February or April until mid-October or early November.4
Now that you know when to expect the mosquitoes, it's time to learn how to keep them away. Check out our posts on how to make your yard a no-fly zone for mosquitoes looking to lay those hardy eggs and how to use citronella products to set up a barrier of protection to keep your friends and family from becoming mosquito feasts!