We Now Have More 'Mosquito Days'

Survey finds most parts of US see more 'mosquito days' compared to decades ago
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2023 10:15 AM CDT
If Mosquito Season Feels Longer, That's Because It Is
Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District biologist Nadja Reissen examines a mosquito in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

A new report by Climate Central has alarming news for anyone who has ever found themselves on the receiving end of a flurry of mosquito bites: Warming temps are giving the pests more time throughout the year to find new sources of blood to feed on. As Georgia Public Broadcasting notes, Climate Central found in a survey of 242 US regions between 1979 and 2022 that most areas (173) have seen increased "mosquito days," sometimes more than two weeks' worth. The Southeast has it the worst, now coping with mosquitos for 218 days, or 60% of the year, but there were notable jumps in the Northeast and the Ohio Valley as well.

The West didn't escape. In fact, in USA Today's list of the cities with the biggest jumps, the top ones in California:

  • Santa Maria, California, 43 extra days
  • San Francisco, California, 42 days
  • State College, Pennsylvania, 33 days
  • Seattle-Tacoma, Washington, 32 days
  • Manchester, New Hampshire, 31 days
  • Birmingham, Alabama, 30 days
  • Burlington, Vermont, 29 days
  • Clarksburg-Weston, West Virginia, 28 days
  • Salinas, California, 28 days
  • Wheeling, West Virginia, 28 days

Axios points out that some areas might actually be getting too hot for mosquitoes, using Texas—currently in the throes of a stunning heat wave—as an example. Mosquitos don't like temperatures above 95, and the Lone Star State has been experiencing heat index readings in excess of 120. Austin, for example, is seeing a notable drop in days friendly to mosquitos. In all, 61 locations saw a decrease in such days in the survey, most of them in the South, per USA Today. University of Georgia public health specialist Elmer Gray told GPB that mosquito "growth is related to the temperature and the amount of food available to them, so the higher the temperature (but not too high), the faster an insect grows." Gray added tips for warding off what the CDC has dubbed "the world's deadliest animal," including eliminating standing water sources such as old tires and keeping storm drains clear. (More climate change stories.)

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