Cold won't bug mosquitoes - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Cold won't bug mosquitoes

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If you were hoping this winter's bitter cold would translate into fewer mosquitoes come summer, prepare to be disappointed.

According to biologist Paul Bauman, "Mosquitoes have been around for 400 million years, you know, dating back to the Triassic Period.  So they've been through ice ages, they've been through cold spells, you know they're going to persevere, so for us one cold winter is probably not going to have a huge impact on them."

Biologist Paul Bauman works for the Toledo Area Sanitary District, widely known as Mosquito Control.  His team traps up to 30 species of mosquitoes in Lucas County.  With staggered hatch times, there will be little break.

"The biggest concern is the amount of snowfall we've had this winter.  That's going to create a lot of melting and a lot of flooding and standing water in the spring.  And mosquito life cycles are very dependent on that."

Mosquitoes don't just die off or migrate like birds.  So where do the little bugs go over one of history's roughest winters?

"With the spring floodwater mosquitoes, they over-winter as eggs.  So the adults collect a blood meal, lay a batch in the soil basically and then wait until the water comes back."

Some other mosquitoes survive the winter as adults in dank crawl spaces and sewers.  Bauman says the few larvae that are laid in standing water have little chance of freezing and dying

"It's very temperature dependent.  But they can develop in as fast as a week, we could see adult mosquitoes flying.  So the spring floodwaters are a little bit slower, because the water's cold, their development is slowed a little bit."

 

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