A warm summer night. An ice cold drink in your hand. A little fire out on the back patio. Just when you think all's right with the world...buzz, buzz, buzz, SLAP!
Of all the world’s pests, mosquitoes have got to be some of the most aggravating. Luckily, if you know when they’re coming and how long they are staying, you can prepare for them just as you would with any other unwanted house guest.
Most people know that mosquitoes prefer warm, wet areas. More specifically, the magical number is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When the weather begins to warm and the sun consistently keeps temperatures at or above that threshold, it’s a safe bet that mosquitoes are on the way.
Depending on where you live, this might be as early as February and last as long as October or November. Some regions, particularly in the warm and humid southeastern United States, can even have mosquitoes all year round. For the rest of us, mosquitoes come and go with the natural changing of seasons – they arrive in early spring and make their exit in the fall.
Let’s break the mosquito seasons down by region:
SOUTHERNMOST AREAS OF TEXAS & FLORIDA
Mosquito season: February–November
SOUTH & SOUTHWEST (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA)
Mosquito season: March–September
MID-ATLANTIC, MIDWEST & WEST (CENTRAL CALIFORNIA)
Mosquito season: Early April–September
NEW ENGLAND, NORTHERN MIDWEST & OREGON
Mosquito season: Late April–September
NORTHERNMOST STATES (EAST-WEST), PACFIC NORTHWEST & SOUTHERN ALASKA
Mosquito season: May–September
One common myth surrounding mosquitoes is they only affect areas that have a naturally high humidity index. While it is certainly true you’ll find mosquitoes in places like these, it’s also possible to find mosquitoes in the dry, arid landscape of the southwest, in states like Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.
Rather than outright humidity, mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs. And they don’t require oceans or massive lakes to do it. A sludge-filled pond, a pothole in the road, even the top of a metal container that collected last night’s rainwater will suffice. Mosquitoes can be very resourceful and they aren’t overly particular.
When Are Mosquitoes Most Active?
Unwelcome as they may be, not all mosquitoes are created equal. In fact, there are a mind-boggling 3,000 different types of mosquitoes around the world! Depending on the species, some mosquitoes can be exclusively nocturnal, while others prefer the muted light and warmth of late morning. Generally speaking, however, dawn and dusk are when mosquito activity will be at its peak1. Unfortunately for those of us who like to enjoy a nice cocktail at the end of a long day, a study published by the National Library of Medicine found that alcohol consumption can actually stimulate mosquito attraction2. Talk about unwanted attention! (You can learn what else attracts mosquitoes here.)
When Do Mosquitoes Die Off?
Judging by the enormous number of Google searches on the subject, it’s safe to assume that mosquito extinction is something most of us have considered at one time or another, probably while scratching ourselves senseless. While extinction may be a bit extreme, there are some species of mosquito that do die off at the end of each warm season.
While some mosquitoes lay their eggs and simply die off in the cold weather, others take a long cozy sleep through the winter months. In either case, the eggs laid will hatch in the spring, provided that they have warmth and water. Let’s talk about how you can protect yourself in the meantime.
Mosquito Season: How to Guard Against Bites
From ultrasonic frequencies, to incandescent candles, to sprinkler systems pumping pesticides, you have plenty of options when it comes to warding off mosquitoes – but not all are effective.
While the sheer number of mosquito-killing and insect-repelling products available may at first baffle the mind, it’s important to remember some of the false promises and exaggerated claims surrounding the industry. For example,the American Mosquito Control Association found that “at least 10 studies in the past 15 years have unanimously denounced ultrasonic devices as having no repellency value whatsoever. Yet, consumers flock in droves to hardware stores to purchase these contraptions3.”
At Best Bee Brothers, we prefer a more holistic approach. Our All Natural Mosquito & Tick Repellent and Mosquito Prevention Incense Sticks are just two solutions we offer to keep you and your family safe during mosquito season. Beyond that, we recommend going back to the basics. Here are some preventive steps you can take:
Wear Long and Loose-Fitting Clothing
While the warmth of summer may have you instinctively rolling up your sleeves orlosing the longer layers, it’s good practice to keep as little of your skin exposed, especially when you know that you’ll be active in an area with a high mosquito population. But you don’t need tactical gear to cover up. Just grab a pair of sweats and a comfy hoodie next time you’re going to spend a few hours around the fire.
Watch for Standing Water
Remember, mosquitoes love stagnant water. It doesn’t have to be a big pool; a small-to-medium-size puddle is plenty for your average female mosquito to lay her eggs. Be sure to do a walk-through of your property every few days to make sure that no preventable bodies of water are accumulating in your yard or near your home. Turn over or store unused planters, pots and watering cans that might harbor mosquito larvae.
Fix Any Broken Screens or Windows
Unlike vampires, mosquitoes don’t need to be invited in to make themselves at home. One easy preventive measure you can take at home is to repair any broken window or door screens that would easily allow access for a mosquito to fly through. If you can’t keep them altogether out of your yard, you can at least keep them out of your home.
If You Have a Pool, Keep It Clean!
It’s been said that cleanliness is next to godliness – well, we can’t speak to that. But we agree withthe EPA: to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your pool, keep the water clean and circulating4. Remember to check your pool cover, which can often be a forgotten part of your cleaning routine5. The lesson? Keep it clean and there’s no mosquitoes to be seen.
Miles Perrine, “What Time of Day Do Mosquitoes Come Out?,” Pest Control Zone, February 25, 2021, https://pestcontrolzone.com/what-time-of-day-do-mosquitoes-come-out/.
- Oshikazu Shirai, et al. “Alcohol Ingestion Stimulates Mosquito Attraction,” Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 18, no. 2 (June 2002): 91-6, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12083361/#:~:text=Our%20study%20demonstrated%20that%20percent,drinking%20alcohol%20stimulates%20mosquito%20attraction.
- “Do Ultrasonic Devices Work?,” FAQs, American Mosquito Control Association, accessed March 6, 2021, https://www.mosquito.org/page/FAQ?#Do%20Ultrasonic%20devices%20work?.
- “Success in Mosquito Control: An Integrated Approach,” United States Environmental Protection Agency, accessed March 6, 2021, https://www.epa.gov/mosquitocontrol/success-mosquito-control-integrated-approach.
- “Swimming Pools: Prevent Mosquito Breeding,” Warren County Mosquito Commission, Oxford Township, NJ, accessed March 8, 2021, https://www.oxfordtwpnj.org/detail.php?ID=270.