Mosquito Threat 2019
High Flooding Could Lead to Worst Mosquito Problem in Years
It’s 2019, and West Michigan is coming off of 3 very wet years, and 3 mild summers. This means we have a lot of extra water lying around. Flooding this year has been bad. So far this spring we’ve had causeways shut down and roads washed away. Rivers are overflowing leaving many areas underwater. All that extra standing water could lead to the worst mosquito problem in years!
The mosquitoes lifecycle starts in water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and it doesn’t take much. Standing water from flowerpots drains, sewage area, uncovered trash cans, or even a bottle cap or rainwater can all be homes for mosquito eggs. In fact, 1 major for of mosquito control is simply removing as many forms of standing water as you can on your property.
Some mosquitoes lay their eggs directly in water, while others will lay them in small areas that could potentially fill with water later. Some eggs laid outside of water can survive for YEARS waiting to come in contact with water. When in contact with water an egg can hatch within 24-72 hours. All the rain this spring has caused significant flooding in our area. So much extra standing water is a haven for mosquito nurseries resulting is a rise in the mosquito population.
2018 had a long stretch of rain in Michigan. Three to Twelve inches in over 2 weeks caused the mosquito population to triple or quadruple! With the rains we’ve seen this spring we can expect more of the same, possibly more.
Across the United States, the mosquito threat level of mosquitos is above average with the Northwest experiencing the worst of it. Already in May 2019, West Michigan has seen an incredibly high mosquito population. Increased population levels of mosquitoes result in more bites. And that can be more than just a nuisance in your back yard.
Mosquitoes carry with them disease. Potentially lots of it! Diseases carried by mosquitoes kill more people than any other living species on Earth. Disease-carrying mosquitoes can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting and even death! According to Gates Notes (the blog of Bill Gates), more than 700,000 people worldwide die in any given year as a result of the diseases these bugs carry.
Mosquitoes thrive in warm, wet conditions. It allows them to breed faster and spread more disease around the world. According to the Boston Children’s Hospital, different parts of the world are facing outbreaks like yellow fever, zika and chikungunya. So far the United States doesn’t have substantial populations of the disease-carrying mosquitoes but researches believe this will rise over the years. Right now the Midwest has one of the higher rates of reported mosquito-borne diseases in the country. According to the CDC, these diseases include West Nile virus, dengue, and Jamestown Canyon virus.