What Temperature Kills Mosquitoes?

thermometer on the beach sand


Cold winter weather is the ultimate mosquito protection —  mosquitoes die, migrate, or go dormant when the mercury fallshttps://nwflorida.mosquitojoe.com/services/. But what temperature kills mosquitoes?  If mosquitoes die in winter, where do they come from in the spring? 

Let’s find out.

The Impact of Temperature on Mosquito Life Cycles

Ah, the joy of summer, with its sunshine, barbecues, and . . . mosquitoes? Yep, mosquitoes love the same toasty temperatures we do — 70° to 80°F. The warmth turbo-charges their life cycle, so they hatch, grow, bite, and reproduce faster. Ugh!

But there’s good news. As the temperatures cool, the busy biters lose their gumption. At 60°F, the mosquito life cycle slows way down, and many species enter diapause, a type of hibernation, at 50° Fahrenheit.

So, at what temperature do mosquitoes die? Unfortunately, mosquitoes don’t usually die from severely cold weather. Most migrate to warmer climates, and some go dormant to sleep through the cold. The rest? Those nasty biters that do die in the cold? First, they lay their eggs, which can survive the harshest winter, ready to hatch and go looking for blood come spring. Then they die, which is a cold comfort for us, knowing those eggs remain.

However, all mosquitoes suffer at each life cycle stage when the temps drop below 50°F. Eggs take longer to hatch, the larval stage can take months instead of days to complete, and some just don’t make it. For example, the larval stage of Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, dies at 46°F (8°C). So sad!

Mosquito Behavior in Different Temperature Zones

From the balmy beaches of the tropics to the chilly tundras of the Arctic, mosquitoes have carved a niche for themselves in a variety of temperature zones. The tropics are a mosquito’s paradise, with stable, warm temperatures that keep them perpetually active. In the tropics, mosquito larvae in water multiply at an alarming rate, making mosquito protection essential all year round.

However, in temperate zones, the buzzing biters can be caught off-guard by sudden temperature drops. One day, the blood is flowing, and the biters are living high. Then a cold front comes in, and they’re wondering whether it’s time to hit diapause.

In colder regions, such as Alaska or the Arctic, mosquitoes spend most of their time as mosquito larvae in water. They hibernate through the coldest weather, timing their biting adult stage to coincide with the return of warm weather. But . . . what temperature kills mosquitoes? Unfortunately, mosquitoes are pretty clever critters. The species whose adults die below 50°F lay plenty of eggs that will survive the winter.

Cold Weather: A Mosquito’s Kryptonite

mosquito on top of snow

Chilled air, frosty mornings, and…no mosquitoes? That’s right! The cold season is our reprieve from the pesky biters. Mosquito season in the United States typically spans the warmer stretch, from early spring to the inaugural freeze. When autumn leaves start to fall, the mosquito’s energy, too, takes a nosedive. Because they’re cold-blooded critters, they can’t keep warm on their own when the mercury drops.

While we relish the relief winter chill brings, mosquitoes either go into hiding, go dormant, or, in some cases, face the final curtain. But let’s address that burning question on everyone’s mind: What temperature kills mosquitoes? Their Achilles heel seems to be at around 50° Fahrenheit. Those species that don’t die at this temperature can no longer function until the warmth returns. When winter whispers, mosquitoes often find themselves on thin ice.

Mosquito Eggs and Freezing Weather

mosquito eggsThe average mosquito only lives about two to three months, and males die well before females do. That’s not very much time to annoy humans, transmit disease, and reproduce, but these insects manage to get it all done. In the end, it’s not a lack of food or water that usually kills these insects. Most of the time, it’s due to their short lifespan or a sudden change in the weather.

We now know what temperature kills mosquitoes. But as long as the temperature remains above 50 degrees, the female should have enough energy to lay her eggs. If she goes into hibernation before it freezes, she may live to see the next season.

Thankfully, however, not all mosquito species fare this well. Only mosquitoes from the genera Anopheles, Culex, and Culiseta hibernate in the winter. The rest just lay their eggs, say their goodbyes, and perish in the freezing weather.

What about her eggs? Mosquito eggs can withstand freezing temperatures. The eggs will survive the winter and emerge as temperatures rise. Even after a polar vortex, you can still expect baby mosquitoes to hatch during the spring. That’s when you’ll see mosquito larvae in water in every pond and puddle on your property. Save your future self from itching and swatting by emptying all the standing water on your property today.

What to Expect as Temperatures Rise

It’s satisfying to ask what temperature kills mosquitoes and to think of them falling over dead when sweater weather hits. But the cold weather reprieve is only temporary. As the weather warms back up, new mosquitoes will hatch, seeking your blood. You’ll need mosquito protection once again. You’ll need to be proactive in combating mosquitoes. Learn the steps you can take to deter mosquitoes. Eliminating standing water and cutting back overgrown vegetation denies the essential habitat of mosquitoes on your property. If you roll up the welcome mat, you’ll have fewer coming to prey on you and your family.

Warmer weather doesn’t mean you have to suffer through another itchy mosquito season. Mosquito Joe® can help stop mosquitoes before they get out of control.

Contact Mosquito Joe for Effective Mosquito Control

Despite all your best efforts at DIY mosquito protection, you will also need to call in the pros. Your local Mosquito Joe provides comprehensive mosquito and other pest control services to protect you and your family from biting insects.

We arrive promptly, driving our marked vans and wearing our bug-fighting uniforms. We bring all the tools needed to do the job right the first time. Also, since the Neighborly Done Right Promise™ backs our work, you know you’ll be pleased.

Knowing what temperature kills mosquitoes and waiting ‘til the dead of winter to get relief from itchy biters are two different things. Don’t wait. Mosquito Joe is making the outdoors fun again with mosquito control!