The past few days in North Carolina have affirmed that the fall season is here. Time for fire pit nights, scary costumes, and warm, sweet beverages. Even though there is a nip in the air at night, remember that temperatures are not quite cold enough to drive mosquitoes from our yards. Until low temperatures drop consistently into the 50’s, you’re still likely to be bitten, and as long as mosquitoes are active, they are still breeding, causing the population to grow.
Recent weather has also brought our state a good bit of rain. This moisture gives mosquitoes plenty of locations for breeding from plant saucers to soaked ground. The cooler weather we have been experiencing will not adversely affect their breeding, and mosquitoes proliferate in exponential numbers. But what happens in a mosquito lays eggs a few weeks from now but temperatures subsequently drop low enough to eliminate mosquitoes? Does the temperature drop eliminate the eggs too? Unfortunately, no, mosquito eggs survive the winter. Temperature and lack of water are not the only factors in this dormancy. If they were, the eggs might hatch when conditions were unfavorable. Length of daylight hours causes the eggs to enter a stage known as diapause, so the eggs will not hatch until longer days occur (Source). This typically means warmer temperatures too.
This also means that mosquito control is a year round task. It doesn’t end when the Thanksgiving turkey is carved. What can you do to help eliminate mosquitoes over the fall and winter? Clean up your yard. Fall leaves cover our lawns and hold water. Removing these leaves removes any eggs that could winter over. Clean up other yard debris like fallen limbs and grass clippings as well, and continue to eliminate standing water, even in late fall.
If you aren’t having Mosquito Squad of Charlotte or Mosquito Squad of Chapel Hill treat your yard currently, it’s not too late in the season to impact your mosquito population now and help control the population next season. Call us. Our barrier sprays are highly effective and last for 21 days. There aren’t many days remaining in the North Carolina mosquito season this year, but they are important days. Don’t let them go to waste.