Mosquito population thriving in a warmer Mid-South - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mosquito population thriving in a warmer Mid-South

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A warming trend has been documented across much of the U.S. since the 1970s. Since humidity rise and fall is directly related to the observed temperature, humidity levels have also slowly risen.  

Warmer, more humid environments are a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This is leading to a longer mosquito season here in Memphis.

We are seeing eight more mosquito days than we did in 1980. It doesn’t help that we are situated along the Mississippi River with all the little waterways that jet out from the river.

The extended period of mosquito days also increases health risks to the public from mosquito and even tick-related diseases.

The increase in deer populations and land use changes that have given ticks a boost and climate change has also impacted the size and geographical distribution of tick populations.

Research by Brownstein et al. suggests some retraction in habitat suitability for ticks, particularly in the Southeast. However, they predict a net 68.9% increase in suitable tick habitats in North America by the 2080s.

The long-range 30-day forecast (seen below) indicate above average temperatures for the Mid-South through the end of August. That could further enhance the mosquito population. So, if you have plans to be outside over the next month, I would keep the mosquito and bug spray nearby. I know I will!

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