To quote the popular T.V. series Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming!”. And for the Northern half of the U.S. this means that mosquito season is nearing a long-awaited end. While I’m sure the temporary halt of the mosquito’s reign of terror must be quite enjoyable, I happen to live in Southern U.S. where mosquitoes are a nuisance pretty much all throughout the year. Here’s why mosquitoes in the south are hard at work while their northern relatives are on their annual vacation.
It’s all about the weather
Like most politicians, mosquitoes are cold blooded, so they prefer temperatures upward of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem is that in a lot of southern states, the daily high stays around or above 50 degrees even in the coldest months of the year. States like Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Southern California are closer to the equator, so it is a lot warmer and a more friendly environment for mosquitoes year-round.
In Florida, researchers at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine collaborated with Miami-Dade county’s Mosquito Control Division and examined more than two years of data from Miami-Dade’s mosquito surveillance program. Their study showed that the mosquitoes there are well adapted to urban environments and are capable of remaining active all year long.
“We found 41 species of mosquitoes in abundance, including Aedes aegypti, which can transmit viral diseases like Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya.” “These species were present in high numbers year-round, indicating there is no longer a summer ‘mosquito season’ here.”André Wilke, Ph.D.
What this means for southern U.S. states
We can’t just let them invade our lives. We’ve got to fight back! The main things we need to do are prevent mosquitoes from turning our homes into breeding grounds, and make sure that we are protected from their bites and the diseases they carry.
1. Get rid of still water
Mosquitoes need water to reproduce, so pools should be covered properly and anything that holds water should be dumped and refilled weekly to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. If you can’t dump and replace certain water sources around your home, or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle, leave these natural non-toxic mosquito dunks in the water source to kill larvae before they can hatch. They can be used in flood prone areas, planters, bird baths, and even in animal troughs because the natural ingredients are safe for animals and the environment.
2. Personal mosquito repellent
Wear a safe natural repellent or repulsion device, like a patch that can be worn on your clothing, to make sure you aren’t attracting any unwanted attention from blood suckers in your area. Mosquito repelling lotion is also a practical approach for daily protection without adding another step to your morning routine, especially if you live in an area where mosquitoes are an issue year-round. Sweat, body heat, and carbon dioxide from our breath are all things that mosquitoes use to find us, so repulsion is the only true way to make sure you are safe while outdoors.
More on How to stay safe from mosquitoes
I made this list of things that mosquitoes love, along with tips and tricks to keep them far away from you and your home.
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