Mosquitoes love the summer for the same reasons we do: it’s warm. These pests can put a real damper on your outdoor activities, making sitting outside on a warm summer evening almost unbearable. And, their bites are more than just annoying — as carriers of diseases such as Zika and West Nile, they can make you sick. But why are they more active in the summer? And how can you protect yourself and your family? Let’s dig in.
Why the Summer Heat Brings Out the Mosquitoes
The weather has a big impact on mosquito populations and they thrive in areas that get a lot of rain and humidity. When it gets dry, it’s hard for mosquitoes to survive. Temperature also impacts mosquitoes: if it’s too cold they have trouble functioning, and if it’s too hot they seek shelter.
Mosquitoes love the heat for three main reasons:
- Mosquitoes are cold-blooded. Like all insects, mosquitoes are cold-blooded. According to the Central Mass Mosquito Control Project, they are incapable of regulating body heat and their temperature is essentially the same as their surroundings.
- Mosquitoes breed well in the heat. Standing water is essential for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Warm temperatures create more potential breeding sites for mosquitoes, allowing them to reproduce faster during the summer. Hot weather actually shortens the incubation time of mosquito eggs, meaning more mosquitoes are being bred.
- Mosquitoes are more active in the heat. Warmer weather allows mosquitoes to move better as their muscles work more efficiently at higher temperatures. This results in increased activity — and bites.
How to Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes
You can’t let mosquitoes ruin your summer, but you also can’t take chances with these pests. Protecting yourself and your family from their bites must be a priority. Here are some tips to help:
- Get rid of standing water: Having standing water on your property is like inviting mosquitoes to breed. If you think, I don’t have a pond, I don’t need to worry: think again. You’d be surprised at all the areas mosquitoes can breed, including buckets, birdbaths, kiddies pools, and gutters. It’s best practice to regularly walk around your property and dump out any standing water you see.
- Use mosquito repellent: There are many options for mosquito repellent on the market today and what you use is a personal choice. Consult the CDC’s list of EPA-registered insect repellents and check out Consumer Report’s recommendations for best repellents. For many, DEET is the gold standard when it comes to mosquito protection.
- Wear protective clothing: When it’s hot, you wear less clothing, which gives mosquitoes more areas to bite. If you will be out during prime biting time (dusk till dawn) be sure to cover as much skin as you can by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks.
Don’t Take Chances with Mosquitos
The most effective way to reduce mosquito populations around your property is to work with a licensed pest control company like Ford’s Hometown Services. Our team can help identify potential breeding sites and deliver targeted treatments. Call us today at 800-649-9992 or get an online quote. Also, ask about our event spraying — the best way to prepare your property for any summer get-togethers.