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Image: Chris Danger

The first hard freeze—when temps drop below the mid-20s for at least a few hours—may not be great news for your pipes, but it does mean a respite from that most Houstonian of foes: the blood-thirsty mosquito.

The truth? They’re just hibernating. The idea that these pests are outright killed by the frost is an old wives’ tale, says Dr. Gabriel Hamer, an assistant professor of entomology at Texas A&M University.

“We have storm drains and storm tunnels … where these adults [mosquitoes] can seek shelter; it’s a microhabitat where they can survive.” They’ll be back in March or April, but even a short-lived reprieve is worth celebrating.

Excerpted from our December 2015 cover story, 65 Winter Must-Do’s in Houston.

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