As warmer temperatures begin to descend, people are now preparing themselves for the hot summer season. But apart from high utility bills and sleepless nights, summer is the perfect time for the mosquito season. Those blood-thirsty mosquitoes leave pesky bites that cause itches and problematic bumps. Although small as they are, these little pests are responsible for mankind’s deadly diseases, such as dengue, malaria, and chikungunya.
According to the ISGlobal, mosquitoes are considered the deadliest animal worldwide. They can kill over 700,000 victims each year, which accounts for 17% of the average global problem of infectious diseases. In fact, there are around 3,500 mosquito species, where the most dangerous ones often breed around houses and are good at transmitting different viruses to people. During hot weather, the mosquitoes have faster life cycles, allowing them to lay and hatch more eggs.
People are always looking for ways to eliminate mosquitoes in their homes. Some are applying insect repellent, avoiding peak hours, and eliminating breeding habitats. Meanwhile, others are taking the extra mile by hiring mosquito control services to reclaim their yards and living spaces from dangerous mosquitoes.
Understanding how mosquitoes breed and sense their hosts will help you prepare during their most active season. This article will discuss how the weather and temperature levels are affecting mosquito behavior and peak seasons.
Mosquitoes prefer wet and warm places
Like any insect, mosquitoes are ectothermic, meaning cold-blooded. Their body temperatures are closely similar to their surrounding environment, whether by air or water. The time spent beyond their comfort zone affects their breeding activities by slowing down or halting their development.
This usually happens during winter when temperatures are under 50° Fahrenheit, causing them to become inactive or eventually die. But as times change, mosquitoes learn to adapt to cold weather changes. The cold temperature will only slow down their reproduction and cause their species to hibernate, only to come out during summer.
For the mosquito larvae to thrive, the temperature needs to reach a high threshold. Although the temperature depends on the species, the required temperature for larvae to thrive is between seven to 16° Celsius. Since larvae are aquatic organisms, they require standing water to grow until they reach their maturity. Sources of standing water are unfiltered pools, birdbaths, rain gutters, old tires, and flower pots.
Mosquitoes as disease spreaders
Mosquitoes are largely known as mankind’s biggest enemy. They have become a constant source of annoyance by causing itches, relentless buzzes, and their aggravating nature as disease spreaders. While it’s easy to hate mosquitoes, the large majority of their species do not directly affect our lives.
Like any insect, mosquito species are incredibly diverse. While over 3,500 species are plaguing the planet, only a handful of them is a threat to humans. These human hunters are divided into two types: aedes albopictus and aedes aegyptii. These species are the ones we should be worried about since they’re particularly dangerous in spreading viruses and diseases. But most of them are predominantly female since they feed on blood, while males prefer flower nectar.
The most dangerous species in the United States and Canada are local mosquito species that are primary carriers of severe health problems, such as paralysis and coma. Also known as West Nile Virus, this mosquito-borne disease occurs during mosquito peak season, which begins in the summer until fall. You will notice a surge in infection rates during the summer if you notice warmer temperatures during February.
In tropical countries, people deal with dengue, malaria, yellow fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya. Mosquitoes are mainly responsible for these viruses, which cause thousands of deaths every year.
Changes in climate
Low winter temperatures have created a suitable environment for tropical mosquito species. This also kept them from establishing permanent areas in places with freezing winter. But over the last decades, climate change has caused significant changes in insect distribution. Since winter has turned milder, mosquito ranges are also shifting.
This resulted in a renewed focus on mosquito trapping programs worldwide. Responding and monitoring mosquito populations have become necessary to preserve global health. One example is the rising cases of yellow fever and the Asian tiger mosquito in the southernmost area of Canada. This shows mosquitoes can also cause severe health issues in northern regions in the long run.
Taking active steps in reducing the mosquito problem can make a huge difference on your property. As we become plagued by climate change issues, it is critical to understand the environmental factors that affect how insects breed and behave. Finding ways to tackle the serious health concern brought by mosquitoes will not only benefit our family but as well as the entire global health.