When El Niño Strikes, Mosquitoes Take Flight!Posted by Mosquito Squad
September 7, 2023
Warmer temperatures and extra rainfall might mean that your plants are thriving and summer fun is extended, but it also means a longer mosquito season. El Niño, the climate phenomenon that occurs every 2-7 years, is once again here and impacting weather patterns in 2023.
Learn how El Niño influences mosquito season and what you can do to protect yourself and your family from mosquito risks.
What Is El Niño?
El Niño is a climate pattern characterized by the warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. The warmer sea surface affects the global weather pattern. During an El Niño, we see heavier rainfall and warmer temperatures. This warming disrupts normal atmospheric and oceanic patterns, which in turn impacts weather conditions across the globe.
So, What Does El Niño Mean for Mosquito Season?
The effects of El Niño on mosquito season are closely linked to alterations in precipitation, temperature, and humidity. These changes promote mosquito breeding and can increase survival rates. More mosquitoes means a higher risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
Here’s how El Niño leads to an increase in the mosquito population:
During an El Niño event, some regions experience increased rainfall, leading to the formation of temporary water bodies like puddles and higher water levels in ponds and swamps. These are ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes.
Not only does this mean that mosquitoes will thrive during the El Niño event, but mosquito populations also tend to flourish after El Niño due to the availability of breeding locations and the rise in populations during the previous year.
An El Niño weather pattern may also mean elevated air temperatures. Higher temperatures accelerate the development and maturation of mosquito larvae, resulting in faster population growth. Mosquitoes mature more rapidly and can live longer in ideal conditions, leading to a higher increase in their numbers during an El Niño year.
Dispersed Mosquito Populations
El Niño-induced changes in temperature and rainfall can cause shifts in the distribution of mosquito species. Some species may extend their range into areas that were previously unsuitable for them. This expansion can expose new populations to mosquito-borne diseases, potentially leading to outbreaks in regions with limited immunity to vector-borne diseases.
The increased mosquito population during and after El Niño events can intensify disease transmission, posing a significant public health challenge. It’s important to implement appropriate mosquito control measures to minimize the risk of disease outbreaks.
How to Stay Safe from Mosquitoes During El Niño
To stay safe throughout mosquito season, there are multiple safety measures you can take, including:
- Staying inside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wearing light-colored clothing that attracts less heat.
- Having a traditional barrier treatment spray applied to protect your yard from mosquitoes for up to 21 days.
- Planting natural mosquito-repellent plants such as lavender and basil.
- Clearing standing water from your yard.
- If you have a pool, ASP – America’s Swimming Pool Company can help you with pool cleaning services to keep it from becoming a mosquito breeding site.
- Trimming overgrown trees and shrubbery.
As we continue to learn more about the relationship between El Niño and mosquitoes, it’s important to develop effective strategies to lower public health risks. Professional mosquito control, community awareness, and continued research are necessary to combat the potential consequences of El Niño on mosquito populations and public health.
Strap in, the 2023 Mosquito Season Is Here to Stay
It’s too soon to say just how much of an impact El Niño will have this year, or how long it will last. But one thing is for sure: an extended period of warm weather, rainfall, and humidity, means that mosquito season isn’t ending early this fall.
Keep your yard safe from mosquitoes during this extended mosquito season with professional mosquito control services. Enjoy your yard and know that your family is safe from potentially dangerous bites. To get started with mosquito control contact us for a free quote, or call us at (877) 332-2239 today!