A combination of drought, heavy rain and heat is causing mosquitoes to strike with more voracity than usual this summer.
The Southeast has been hit the hardest, according to Jonathan Day, a University of Florida insect researcher. The region suffered from two years of drought, followed by a deluge this year. Mosquito eggs won't hatch if conditions aren't wet enough. But with the rains this summer, Day said this year's population of mosquitos hatched alongside those from the last two years.
Photo by: Flickr user hofluk
Even communities that are spraying for mosquitos may not be experiencing relief. Some of the bugs are developing a resistance to the chemicals. Tom Wilmot, past president of the Mosquito Control Association and a Michigan mosquito control district chief, said mosquitoes are winning out against abatement techniques in many places.
"We have to keep fighting just to hold our own," Wilmot said.
Meanwhile, Chet Moore, a medical entomologist at Colorado State University, said climate change may only make mosquito problems worse. Mosquitos favor hotter weather, he said (Seth Borenstein, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 21).
Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.
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