Mosquitos in Winter? More Likely a Winter Gnat!


Are their mosquitoes in winter?

Not really. Some adult mosquitoes survive the winter by taking up residence in hollow logs or burrow into other animals nests.

If it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it must be a duck.

The winter insect that looks like a mosquito might actually be a winter gnat. Winter gnats are very common in the UK. Gnats and mosquitoes are commonly mistaken for each other because they have similar qualities.

How Mosquitoes and Winter Gnats are Similar

Winter gnats have transparent wings and long thin legs like a mosquito. They also swarm together and are attracted to light, just like the mosquito. Therefore, it is easy to see why the appearance of mosquitoes in winter seems possible.

Winter gnats live in similar places to mosquitoes. They prefer the woods, yet will move to more wide open spaces during the summer. Both insects are present during the summer months so they may even be mistaken for each other during the spring and summer.

Winter gnats are different to mosquitoes in the way that they hatch their young. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. Winter gnats lay their eggs in rotting wood or moist environments such as wet leaves and mushrooms.

Sometimes winter gnats lay their eggs in the wet decaying leaves of a houseplant or an outdoor plant that is brought in for the winter. This is how winter gnats can get inside a house or storage shed. Be careful to not overwater such plants. They can cause damage to the roots of house plants and find their way to food that is stored inside the house such as potatoes.

Mosquito bites in Winter?

Mosquito bites during the winter are rare. Winter gnats are not known to have biting mouth parts to bite humans. Some insect bites that occur during the winter may be from a horse fly, a deer fly or from fleas. 

There are other kinds of gnats such as the fungus gnat, eye gnat, buffalo gnat, and the sand gnat. The buffalo gnat is known to bite, the others do not. All of these gnats are dark grey or black except for the sand gnat which is yellow-toned or brown.

Most gnats are drawn to sources of carbon-dioxide which humans give off through their nose and mouth. This is why they hover around your face and can be quite annoying.

If insects that look like mosquitoes or winter gnats are in your home, or you are suffering with ‘mystery bites’, contact us at 0121 580 9229. 

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