How Weather Affects Mosquitoes
After a long winter, most of us here in Cincinnati are ready for spring. The warmer temperatures encourage us to head out to enjoy the great outdoors, our backyards, parks, and pools. But for mosquitoes, those same warm spring temperatures are like an alarm clock. Read on to learn more about how weather affects mosquitoes, and whether you should look into Cincinnati mosquito control.
Mosquito Life Cycle: Their Circle of Life
The mosquito life cycle starts in the spring, but how that life cycle starts depends on the species of mosquito. Several species of mosquito survive the winter as eggs or as larva. Some can even survive being frozen in ice. Springtime temperatures then melt the ice and warm the water. This is when the eggs hatch and the larva begin to feed and grow. In other species, females hibernate through the winter and become active when the temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees. Once the females become active, they immediately search for a blood meal and lay 100 – 200 eggs as quickly as possible.
The time needed for a mosquito egg to develop and become an adult varies between species and is also affected by temperature. Some varieties develop from egg to adult in as little as four days, while others take longer. Amazingly, an average temperature increase of 10 degrees can speed up the development of egg to adult by several days. The puddles and flooded areas left after warm spring and summer storms explain why heavy rains often cause booms in mosquito populations and activity.
Wet Springs Lead to More Mosquitoes
April showers can bring more than May flowers. They can also create a prime breeding environment. Because mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, a wet spring may be a sign that you should prepare for more pest mosquitoes over the course of the summer. As expected, more pest mosquitoes mean more mosquito bites for both humans and pets. More mosquito bites also increase the possibility of being infected with a mosquito-borne disease. When temperatures reach 78 degrees or higher, mosquitoes become significantly more active. Especially at dusk and dawn. Shaded areas are preferred hangouts for mosquitoes. They tend to avoid areas with direct sunlight because too much sunlight can dehydrate and kill them.
Higher temperatures mean we’ll have more mosquitoes feeding more often, increasing their chances of contracting a virus. That means there’s an increased chance of acquiring Zyka, Dengue, or some other mosquito-borne illness through a bite. These viruses are able to replicate faster when it’s hotter, so mosquitoes can transmit earlier in their lives.
When Does Mosquito Season End?
Like all insects, mosquitoes are cold-blooded and they become inactive when temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Which means that fewer and fewer mosquitoes will be around once Fall hits and the temperatures drop here in southern Ohio. Even though mosquitoes aren’t buzzing and biting during the fall and winter, we know they’ll be back next spring- whether we like it or not.
Protect Yourself and Your Family as Summer Approaches
Summer is right around the corner. The temperatures are already heating up and spring has brought a lot of rain. This means the conditions are perfect for mosquitoes. Here are a few things that you can do to keep your family and property safe and comfortable.
- Eliminate standing water around your property, mosquitoes only need about 1 inch of water to lay eggs in.
- Dispose of any containers or tarps around your property that could potentially hold rain water.
- Keep fresh water in birdbaths.
- To eliminate hiding places for mosquitoes, mow your lawn regularly and trim back bushes and vegetation.
- Have your property professionally treated with mosquito control products. Homeowners have several types of products to choose from when it comes to mosquito control. There are synthetic chemical options, all natural options, and the best and safest for humans and pets is an ALL NATURAL AND ORGANIC mosquito control option.
Plan ahead so you’re able to enjoy this summer to the fullest. Make sure it’s safe and comfortable for you and your family. Do your research, and stay ahead of the buzz!