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Aug 04|

Think mosquito season is almost over? Think again.

BEDFORD, Mass, August 4, 2021 — Due to a warmer and wetter-than-normal forecast for the next three months, mosquito activity is predicted to remain at a high level well into October this year.

“When just one female mosquito can lay between 50 to 500 eggs with each brood and can have up to 10 broods in her lifetime, you’re going to have exponential population growth,” said Dr. Benjamin McMillan, Senior Biologist at Thermacell Repellents, Inc., the leading manufacturer of area mosquito repellents. “And anywhere you have warmer temperatures and standing water from above normal rainfall, you’re going to have a mosquito population boom.”

Here are McMillan’s top five warm weather factors that are extending this year’s mosquito season.

  1. Forecasts call for a hotter and wetter late summer and early fall. The National Weather Service is forecasting above normal temperature and precipitation for the Southeast and Northeast regions of the U.S. from August through October[1]. These weather conditions mean intense mosquito activity should continue for the next 60-90 days.
  2. Weather affects mosquito flight duration. Since mosquitoes are cold-blooded insects, temperature and relative humidity dictate their activities. Adult mosquitoes are most active between 59-90 degrees Fahrenheit with an optimal flying temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.[2] This is why mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Searching for their next blood meal during high daytime temperatures can be fatal for mosquitoes as the lower relative humidity can dehydrate them.
  3. Precipitation increases and decreases the mosquito population. Rainfall, especially with back-to-back storm systems that have saturated and flooded areas, creates mosquito population explosions. When there is enough rainfall to create standing water for mosquitoes to lay eggs, their population will prodigiously increase as long as there are available breeding grounds. High precipitation levels, however, can decrease populations by flushing mosquito larvae from their breeding sites.[3]
  4. Light pollution makes some mosquitoes bite more. Even though daylight hours are slowly decreasing as we move into fall, keeping outdoor lights on at night gives mosquitoes more opportunities to bite. Most mosquitoes usually fly and feed in the early morning and early evening when it’s light enough to see but still relatively cool enough to remain active. Using outdoor lighting to artificially extend daylight hours dramatically increases the mosquito’s biting behavior. According to recent research from the University of Notre Dame[4], female mosquitoes are twice as likely to bite at night when exposed to artificial light. Only 29 percent of the mosquitoes in the light-deprived control group fed at night. Fifty-nine percent of the mosquitoes exposed to artificial light were stimulated to blood feed.
  5. Remove the new breeding grounds late summer rains will create. One female mosquito can produce as many as 250 million mosquitoes in just three generations. To put the brakes on the mosquito’s incredible reproductive capacity this summer and fall, remove any standing water. Any place where water can collect and sit for a week is a potential mosquito breeding farm. Turn over any large items that can hold water, like wheelbarrows, flower pots, gutters, tarps, and buckets. Also, look for leaf piles, debris, or trash that can retain stagnant water.

“Mosquitoes are a surprisingly pervasive species,” said McMilllan. “Understanding their warm-weather behaviors can help you implement effective mosquito control options to keep them from ruining the rest of your summer.”

McMillan recommends starting with an area repellent from Thermacell to keep mosquitoes away from where you are.  Thermacell technology uses heat to diffuse highly effective repellents into the air creating a zone of mosquito protection. This zone creates an invisible and scent-free barrier to mosquitoes and can provide up to a 20-foot zone of protection per repeller to you.

About Thermacell® Repellents, Inc.

Thermacell Repellents, Inc., headquartered in Bedford, MA, designs, manufactures, and markets area mosquito repellent and insect control solutions. Thermacell can be found at most outdoor, sporting goods, home improvement, and mass merchant retailers. Thermacell products are also available internationally in more than 30 countries. For more information on Thermacell and its complete line of repellent products, consumer reviews, and store locations, visit www.thermacell.com.

 

 

[1] National Weather Service 3-Month Forecast – https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/multi_season/13_seasonal_outlooks/color/page2.gif

[2] Journal of Insect Physiology, “The effect of temperature and relative humidity on the flight performance of female Aedes aegypti” – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0022191068900188

[3] International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “The Effect of Weather Variables on Mosquito Activity: A Snapshot of the Main Point of Entry of Cyprus”, February 21, 2020

[4] Science Daily, “Light pollution may increase biting behavior at night in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes” – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201020161202.htm

Jill Thomas
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