What to Expect from Mosquitoes in 2019
For many Americans, mosquitoes are a year-round disturbance. These tiny, blood-thirsty insects will attach anywhere from head-to-toe, particularly during warmer months. They also carry diseases that can cause severe symptoms like fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death.
Diseases carried by mosquitoes kill more people than any other living species on Earth. According to Gates Notes, more than 700,000 people worldwide die in any given year as a result of the diseases these bugs carry.
Part of the reason mosquitoes are so dangerous is that they thrive is warm temperatures. Their preferred temperature is anything above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which means they can exist for some length on every continent in the world except for Antarctica. They primarily like to live in places that:
Are warm all year Have moist, tropical climates Have standing water
In these tropical climates, mosquitoes can live and reproduce all year. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, the mosquitoes become dormant until the cold spell is over, or they die.
With the rise of global temperatures, along with the rise of human activity, comes a better environment for mosquitoes to proliferate and spread across the world.
The warmer and wetter it is, the more mosquitoes will be around. Looking back to late 2018, a long stretch of rain (3 to 12 inches over two weeks) in Michigan caused mosquito populations to triple or quadruple. More rain means more standing water, which means more mosquitoes. Similar bouts of rain are expected in 2019, which will no doubt lead to similar increases in mosquito populations.
These warmer and wetter conditions allow diseases that mosquitoes carry to be spread quicker and easier. Currently, different parts of the world are facing outbreaks of yellow fever, dengue, Zika and chikungunya, according to a Boston Children’s Hospital study. Many parts of the U.S. still don’t have substantial communities of the primary disease-carrying mosquitoes that exacerbate outbreaks and epidemics. However, researchers believe that by 2050, almost every section of the United States will have communities of mosquitoes at some point during the year.
Let’s look at our region of the country and how the predicted weather for 2019 will affect the mosquito populations in the area.