The Sutter-Yuba Mosquito and Vector Control District says that mosquitoes can be a real nuisance in central California during this year’s warm winter.
There is a species that is active during the winter months and feed and breed while other mosquitoes are dormant.
But district entomologist Debra Lemenager says unless you live near agricultural areas where there is a lot of standing water the bigger danger of being bitten is from the anopheles-freeborni mosquito, which comes out of a hibernation phase during warm spells during the winter with an empty stomach.
“They’re going to really come after you,” Lemenager said.
The species normally goes back into hibernation until the spring when it breeds, but may not if it stays warm.The extended warm winter means the mosquito awakes sooner and may stay active until spring.
Although there is plenty of standing water around agricultural areas, it’s still too cold for the majority of species to breed during the winter months. And the feeding patterns are just the opposite of the warmer months. Instead of feeding primarily at dusk or dawn, winter mosquitoes attack during the warmest parts of the day and disappear when the sun goes down.
The prudent course is to cover up with long sleeve clothing and pants during the day, but that can be hard to do as people continue to wear shorts and t-shirts during this unusually warm winter. The saving grace is that the winter mosquitoes doesn’t carry the dreaded West Nile virus.