How rising temperatures are having an impact on the bugs we love to hate
The world is getting warmer, and there’s indisputable evidence of this. If you take a look at this chart, you will see that the last three years were the hottest in recorded history.
For South Florida – and Miami, specifically – 2017 was the hottest year since records have been kept. But the heat isn’t the only thing we have to worry about; there are second and third-order effects beyond the temperature, including how warmer weather helps the mosquito population.
Why mosquitos are loving this weather
If you know anything about mosquitos, beyond the bite, it probably has to do with their relationship with hot weather. There’s sort of no such thing as mosquito season in South Florida, as we have to deal with them all year long – but you see less of them during the fall and winter months. This is because they thrive in the heat.
And because temperatures keep going up, this means mosquitos have longer periods of time in which to breed.
A vicious cycle
With less cool air to kill off mosquitos, their breeding season gets longer. So now they reproduce more frequently, which increases their population. They need to feed on blood to reproduce, so this means they have to bite more people and animals. As a result of this, their metabolism speeds up, so they, in turn, start feeding more often.
How this leads to the spread of more diseases
Mosquitos aren’t just annoying, they can be dangerous and even deadly. Over 700,000 people are killed each year around the world by mosquito-borne illnesses. One of the reasons why mosquitos are spreading more diseases now is because the rising temperatures are leading to larger habitats. They are traveling further than they used to, which is why areas are seeing diseases – like Zika – in this country that we’ve never had to deal with before.
The hotter weather is also having a big impact on how mosquitos carry diseases, Yoca Arditi-Rocha, a senior climate advisor at the Cleo Institute, told NBC6 News in Miami.
“Some of these viruses tend to incubate faster inside the belly of the mosquito, making it more [likely] for mosquitos to spread the disease to more people as they bite more often because warming temperatures make mosquitos hungrier and they want to feed on blood meals more often,” she said.
Is there any hope in sight?
Sadly, it’s becoming more likely that the effects of climate change won’t be reversed, and what we are experiencing now will be the new normal. This means that we have to take precautionary measures to protect ourselves from mosquitos.
Keeping the vegetation in your yard trimmed can help, as can getting rid of any standing water. You should also consider having a misting system installed on your property. This utilizes a natural insecticide that will keep mosquitos away. If you would like to learn more about how this system works, contact Platinum Mosquito Protection for a free onsite consultation. Fill out our online form to get started.