After a long summer of swatting mosquitoes and checking loved ones for ticks, many Canadians are itching for winter to start and pest season to end. While your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes and ticks in cold Canadian weather are slim to none, it's not because they've gone the way of the snowbird and fled to Florida. Many species are still technically around, having gone dormant until warmer weather returns. Let's learn more!
What Happens To Mosquitoes?
Believe it or not, not every mosquito species dies off during the winter months like most would expect them to. Many mosquitoes species go dormant in winter and hibernate, finding holes or man-made areas to wait in for warmer weather. According to NPR, certain species of female mosquito bulk up and store fat much like bears do in the winter. Who would have thought we'd be comparing bears to mosquitoes in this blog!
Most species, however, can't survive the harsh Canadian climate in the winter and will die off after laying their eggs. Being cold-blooded critters, mosquitoes basically shut down when temperatures in their environment are less than 10 degrees.
What Happens To Ticks?
Depending on the species and life cycle of the tick, they will become dormant or latch on to their host - like a warm-blooded human, pet or deer - when temperatures drop in their environment. The warm skin and fur of an animal host can provide a tick with protection from the cold and the necessary energy to wait out winter. This is what a tick spends most of its fall quest trying to accomplish; finding a rent-free host for winter. Darn freeloaders!
While these pests are less prevalent and pose less of a threat to you or your pets in winter than they would in, say, spring and fall, you should still keep an eye out for ticks during the colder months, especially if you live near heavily-wooded areas with large populations of deer, rabbits or mice. If certain factors exist - such as warmer than normal temperatures - it is possible for ticks to be active and latch on to someone or something when looking for a quick meal and a warm place to hide.
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