Terminix is encouraging businesses to continue to be vigilant about mosquito control despite hotter, dryer weather in some areas of the country.
Mosquitos are very adaptable to changing weather conditions, and even though many areas of the United States are experiencing drought conditions this year, experts say the mosquito threat does not go away, Terminix said.
“Because we had a mild winter in many areas, population density is up, and mosquitoes will be active as long as the temperature and moisture levels are favorable,” said Paul Curtis, B.C.E., director of service quality for Terminix. “As a general rule, warmer temperatures decrease the time it takes for insects to reproduce, thus producing larger populations. For example, a common mosquito type in California might go through its life cycle in 14 days at 70 degrees, and take only 10 days at 80 degrees.”
While extreme heat can impact mosquito populations, in some cases it can just delay infestations.
“The drought and temperature extremes in some areas can cause a delay in some stages of mosquito development, which can then rebound when temperatures become more favorable and water requirements are met,” Curtis said. “That means you may see very few mosquitos for a period of time, and then suddenly clouds of them everywhere.”
Along with keeping customers and employees comfortable, safety is also an important consideration in mosquito control. West Nile virus and dengue fever are transmitted by mosquitos. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida has reported local cases of dengue for the first time in 75 years, as have states along the United States-Mexico border.
For regions that maintain temperatures and moisture conditions conducive to mosquito activity for most of the year, Terminix recommends year-round mosquito protection.
“Planted areas, atriums, offices and warehouses may sustain the lighting, moisture and temperature conditions to allow activity for some types of mosquitos to continue year round, even though it is cold outside,” Curtis said. “It’s also common for mosquitos to emerge if a few warm days in a row occur in the fall and winter.”