Saturday, September 22nd is the official first day of fall, but we’re sorry to report that mosquitoes and other biting bugs don’t keep track of the Gregorian calendar and will still be getting up to their pesky ways for a few more weeks.
While consistently shivery temperatures—under 50 degrees or so—do cause most of the 150+ species of cold-blooded biting pests to die off or hibernate, most places in the country don’t reach that kind of sustained cool-down until later in the season. In fact, cooler evening temps actually drive mosquitoes (including the kind that spread West Nile and Zika Virus) to feed during the day and seek warm shelter at night.
In fact, if you live in a region without much rainfall in the summer or enjoy warm, humid weather year round like the Gulf Coast or Hawaii, early fall showers and the resulting puddles can cause a spike in mosquito breeding into October and beyond. That, and the fact that mosquitoes can live up to two whole months, are great reasons to continue to watch out for standing water around your house, in tarps covering pools, blocked gutters, or in discarded buckets or tires.
Some mosquitoes can even lay winter-ready eggs in these cooler weeks that can survive for months and hatch in the spring! Rest assured that even if those die-hard mosquitoes can survive the winter, they won’t be actively out looking for dinner after around the first frost. A killing frost—at least two hours of temps below 28 degrees—will eliminate any mosquitoes who haven’t hibernated in a cozy spot yet (too bad for those buzzing procrastinators).
Until then, if you’re planning a day hike to check out those gorgeous fall colors or hope to be trick-or-treating in mild weather come Halloween, don’t assume that the bite in the air or the smell of pumpkin spice wafting on the breeze will dissuade mosquitoes from feasting on you! Pack a few of our kid- and pet-friendly, nontoxic, and DEET-free mosquito wipes and be prepared for those hearty, calendar-ignorant biters wherever they may pop up. And be sure to bring along some wipes if you’re planning a winter trip to the tropics—or bring the Aunt Fannie’s team on vacation with you, and we’ll happily provide some wipes for free.