07/19/2024

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Warm weather brings an exciting array of things to do – think backyard barbecues, beach days and picnics in the park. However, there’s one aspect of the season that no one likes: mosquitoes. Vampires appear out of nowhere in the summer and leave itchy bumps on their victims’ skin. Called “the world’s deadliest animal” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquitoes are responsible for spreading many diseases, including malaria and yellow fever. Unfortunately, according to a report today, the insect will only become more prevalent in 2022.

Due to increased precipitation and warmer temperatures, this pest has an ideal breeding habitat during this mosquito season, which begins in early spring and continues throughout the fall. Mosquito larvae need water to develop, which means “the wetter an area is, the higher the concentration of mosquitoes,” Edward Ryan, M.D., an immunologist at Harvard Medical School and director of global infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Today.

States that have received more rainfall this summer may have more mosquitoes, so their residents may be more susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases. According to Dr. Ryan, these states include: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. In addition to increased precipitation, the National Centers for Environmental Information report that there is a 99 percent chance that this year will be one of the hottest 10 years on record. These two factors combined lead to a greater likelihood that mosquitoes will become more prevalent this summer.

It’s important to take protective measures so you can protect yourself from these disease-carrying insects. Dr. Michael Joseph Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, tells today that the first step is to eliminate all breeding grounds for mosquitoes in your home. This includes removing standing water, cleaning out waterlogged rain gutters, and putting fresh water into bird baths every few days.

Just as in previous years, using insect repellent is another effective way to keep mosquitoes away. In addition, you should avoid areas where disease-carrying mosquitoes are present. Ryan recommends checking your local State Department website, which will provide prevention tips and information about mosquito activity in your area.

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