One of the warmest winters in memory seems to be coming to an early end, at least you would think so if you were one of the people on Tuesday to have seen a mosquito.


City mosquito expert Mike Jenkins isn't surprised some hibernating adults are waking early. (CBC)

That's right, mosquitoes are getting a jump on spring in early February.

But it doesn't surprise mosquito expert Mike Jenkins, a biological sciences technician with the City of Edmonton.

"We have a number of mosquito species around that actually will overwinter, hibernate as adults, and in warm conditions like we're having right now when it gets up above 0 C, 5 C, ... they'll actually wake up and start flying around." 

The insect hides in leaves under the snow or in an animal burrow, wherever it can find shelter, Jenkins said. 

And when it gets warm they come out looking for a meal.

"The mosquito doesn't know it's not spring," he said. 

Winters in the Edmonton area over the last few years have been very unusual, he said. 

"We've had periods in January particularly that are very weird where it goes up to 15 C above and stays there for a few days."

The mosquitoes will bite, but they are the "honking big slow ones" that are easy to kill and typically make their meals on slower, larger mammals such as moose, he said.

The mosquitoes won't last long though. 

"As soon as it gets cold again — they don't have any real resistance — they are done for," he said. "Those mosquitoes aren't going to make it to the summer. That particular mosquito is done."