What Happens to Mosquitoes in the Winter?

Tatiana Adrianova/iStock via Getty Images
Tatiana Adrianova/iStock via Getty Images

For those of us living in colder climates, there’s one bright spot in the frigid hellscape of winter. Mosquitoes fall back and retreat, pausing their bloodlust and obviating one's need for bite repellent. But where do they actually go? Florida? Can mosquitoes even survive in less-than-humid conditions?

According to Reader’s Digest, these nuisance insects have two strategies for coping with temperatures below 50°F. Males drop dead. (Though not because of the cold. After mating in the fall and living an average of 10 days, they’ve reached the limits of their usefulness and perish before the cold front comes in.) Females enter diapause, a kind of hibernation in which they find a hollow log or spot in the ground to burrow into and slow their metabolism. No matter how low the temperature drops, they can survive in this state for as long as six months. They don’t need water, either.

To prepare for this, females gain weight—up to 10 times their normal body weight—and wait for winter to pass. When the weather warms up, they emerge and head off in pursuit of blood to nourish their eggs. That’s where humans come in.

Of course, there’s never a guarantee winter will provide a vacation from mosquitoes. One neighborhood in Manhattan has long suffered from an infestation of Culex pipiens molestus, which has evolved to breed underground in the winter without needing to feed. The mosquitoes then infiltrate homes, leading to disgruntled residents being attacked in the cold months.

[h/t Reader’s Digest]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

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You've been asking about it for months, and today we can finally confirm that the Mental Floss Store is back up and running! Simply head here to find dozens of T-shirts with all sorts of unique designs to choose from, whether you’re in the market for a pi pun, a risqué grammar joke, or something only your fellow bookworms will appreciate. You can even use your new Mental Floss shirt to teach your friends all about scurvy.

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Treat Your Feline This Holiday Season With Fancy Feast’s Cat Food Advent Calendar

Fancy Feast/Chewy
Fancy Feast/Chewy

In anticipation of the holiday season, many children and adults get to unwrap mini presents each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas day, during what's known as Advent. Though Advent itself dates back to the 4th century, the version we know today, complete with the chocolate-filled calendars, was popularized in the early 1900s. And apparently it's no longer just for humans, because Fancy Feast is letting your feline roommate in on the fun with this unique cat food Advent calendar, now available at Chewy for $23.

For the 24 days leading up to Christmas, your cat will get to enjoy a variety of different wet foods, including favorites like grilled salmon, chicken, and more. There is even a unique ornament included with each calendar featuring a cat in the shape of a heart that can go right onto your tree. (Also, don't be surprised to find your actual cat making its way into the middle of your tree; they're known climbers.)

Now while you enjoy your Advent calendars from brands like LEGO, Funko, and more, your cat will be able to join in on the fun as well. To learn more about Fancy Feast's Feastivites Advent Calendar, head on over to Chewy.

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