Mosquito Slap Dance – Watch the video below!
Many of you have noticed, or at least brought to our attention, that mosquito pressure has not been as bad this year as it typically is during the summer. Most folks blame the drought and lack of rainfall for that. However, if you look outside, you will notice your yard is probably still nice and green. What about your neighbors’ yards? Hmm, how did that happen? Must be plenty of water around to keep all those lawns green!? To put it simply, through irrigation alone, there is plenty of water for mosquitoes to thrive around your house, despite a lack of rainfall.
Then why have the mosquitoes been less this year? We believe it is due to a different reason; temperature. The high temperatures this year have lead to a couple reasons the mosquito pressure has seemingly been less.
1. For starters, this summer was so hot people spent a lot less time outdoors. So, even if there are mosquitoes out there, we wouldn’t know it because we’re all inside trying not to sweat to death.
2. Secondly, insects (including mosquitoes) are cold blooded, meaning that their body temperature is the same as that of their surroundings. The ability of the insect to be active, as well as to develop, is impacted greatly by temperature. It makes sense that cold insects slow down and warm insects speed up, think of your car. But did you know that hot insects also slow down and can even die? The point at which this happens is called the upper developmental threshold. This temperature can vary widely among mosquitoes breeds, but represents the highest temperature that a mosquito can healthily develop. A study on two of the more troublesome mosquitoes, the yellow fever mosquito and the southern house mosquito, shows that ideal development occurs from 68°F to 81°F.
At these temperatures, around 90% of eggs tested made it to the adult stage. At 59°F, less than 40% survived to adulthood. At 93°F, less than 60% survived to adulthood. You can see from this information that mosquito problems should decrease in the when the temperature dips to the lower 60’s, and also when it reaches the upper 90’s.
We are all welcoming fall and a reprise from the heat, so are the mosquitoes. We’ve seen a big spike in mosquito calls the last couple weeks since the temperature has finally dropped. Of course, there is still plenty of water out there for healthy mosquitoes, and now the temperature is to their liking! A quick call to Venus Pest Company and we can keep you mosquito free through the end of this year’s mosquito season.