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What Do Mosquitoes Do In Winter?


This episode is all about bugs! We've gotten a lot of questions from you about insects and other critters. So we're tackling them with the help of Jessica Honaker and Kristie Reddick, otherwise known as the Bug Chicks.

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Why are most insects so small? Do bumblebees have hearts? why do I feel itchy all over when I think about ticks?

"What do mosquitoes do in the winter?" - Lila, 7, Middlebury, Vt.

It depends on the kind of mosquito. There a lots of different species of mosquitoes. Some mosquitoes in the late summer and early fall will lay winter-hardy eggs. Basically, these are eggs that can live and exist in their egg form over the winter. Sometimes they're laid in the soil and then when it rains or when snow melts, pools of water will form and that's where an egg for a mosquito loves to hatch in the spring and early summer.

Sometimes you'll get what we call over-wintering as an egg. Sometimes you'll get over-wintering as larvae as well. Mosquito larvae live in water. Some of them like really dirty water and some prefer cleaner water. They wiggle, and squiggle and kind of flop around in water and they will do that over the winter in warmer areas where the water doesn't freeze. So that's what mosquitoes do over the winter. You just don't see them as often because it's cold and you're not out poking around in the dirt when it's so cold out.

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
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