Breakdown: Why a big winter snowmelt could mean more mosquitoes
(Editor’s note: This story was originally published March 28, 2021 at 5:50 PM CDT - Updated March 28 at 6:41 PM on wmcactionnews5.com)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Great Health Divide) - When we think of snow and mosquitoes we probably think that a good amount of snow would mean less mosquitoes but but a lot of snowfall can lead to more mosquitoes in the spring.
Wet winters can actually lead to a rise in the mosquito population according to research. The theory is that the snow has to melt and go somewhere. If it melts into big puddles of standing water or in low-lying areas, then that could cause a lot more mosquitoes.
Spring mosquitoes start to come out in May and as long as the standing water wherever it collected climbs to temperatures of greater than 45 to 50 degrees, mosquitoes can start to develop. A winter with a small amount of snowfall doesn’t mean no mosquitoes and spring rainfall can also lead to a healthy amount of mosquitoes. According to research a cold snow won’t impact the mosquito population. It will be the same or possibly worse as mosquitoes can adapt.
Spring mosquitoes are typically a one, single generation when they hatch in the snowmelt and standing water, they will lay their eggs for the next generation and we won’t see them until the following spring.
Summer mosquitoes are different because they rely on the summer rain. So if the pattern is particularly dry, you won’t see many of those mosquitoes but on the flipside, if it’s a really wet pattern and rainfall amounts are high, say two or three inches of rain, that could mean several generations of summer mosquitoes.
Water is the mnain thing that all mosquitoes need and they will reproduce generation after generation according to research. During the summer warmth, sometimes the process only takes one week. Summer nights with temperatures above 70 degrees and no wind are ideal for mosquitoes.
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