Don’t let cold weather fool you: Mosquitoes are here to stay

The occasional rain is making things even worse by giving thousands of mosquito eggs an opportunity to hatch meaning you are seeing mosquitos everywhere and will continue seeing them.

DENHAM SPRINGS — The thought process is the cold weather eliminates mosquitoes, but a pest expert says don’t let this cold weather fool you because the mosquitoes will continue lurking and thriving.

Jimmy Arceneaux, the co-owner of Arceneaux Pest Management Service in Denham Springs, said neither the summer drought nor the brisk weather recently will deter the pesky blood hunters because all they need is a little water.

“A lot of natural predators of mosquitoes are not getting enough rain,” he said. “Even in ditches or puddles, a minnow or a tadpole will eat a lot of mosquitoes. All of those puddles or ditches are empty. When we get a little bit of rain, there are already millions of mosquito eggs in the ditches on the ground in the dry puddles. There are millions, so once they get wet, within a day or two, they hatch and become a larva. Within a week, they become an adult mosquito.”

Some other predators Arceneaux mentioned as natural mosquito exterminators also included dragonfly larvae and birds that drink from the puddles and ditches.

One thing that adult mosquitoes don’t typically survive is a hard freeze. A hard freeze happens when temperatures drop to 28 degrees or lower for an extended period. However, Arceneaux said even a hard freeze doesn’t kill mosquito eggs.

“Mosquito eggs can survive almost anything,” he said. “They lay their eggs right about the waterline, and the eggs can last anywhere from eight months to several years.”

mosquitoes

He said within five to seven days after any rain, there will be a boom of mosquitoes until the next hard freeze. Each female mosquito can lay close to 1,000 eggs.

“If we keep having these little bitty rain events, it’s just enough for the mosquitoes to breed and hatch,” Arceneaux explained. “It’s not enough for their predators, and it hasn’t been cold enough to kill the adult mosquitoes yet. They only live about a week at a time, but they’re constantly being replenished when we have these little afternoon sprinkles.”

“It has to do with the outer layer of the eggs,” Arceneaux continued. “They’re impervious to the elements. Heat won’t really kill them. Cold really won’t kill them, and a drought won’t really kill them. They just have to break down naturally over time. They’re extremely resilient.”

He said for some people who live near stagnant water, there’s not a whole lot for them to do to get rid of mosquitoes. There are only temporary fixes that may last a day or two. That involves a spray.

In a neighborhood not near stagnant water, most people could get a monthly service done that could help get the pests under control.

Residents can help themselves by picking up any trash on their properties. Mosquitoes can breed in almost any type of trash.

“Thousands of mosquitoes can breed just from one Solo cup in the backyard,” he said.

Arceneaux advised everyone to wear DEET repellent because it provides the best resistance.

“That’s really all people can do,” he said. “Pick up trash, anything that can collect water, and then put a little DEET on before you go outside. Other than that, we’re at the mercy of the environment.”

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