Climate Change and Its Effect on Vector Borne Illness

Author: Mosquito Squad of St. Petersburg - Clearwater

Climate change has become a growing topic of debate over the last few years, but research clearly indicates that changing temperatures around the globe are directly affecting the spread of vector-borne diseases.

From the U.S Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to the World Health Organization (WHO), many reliable organizations have published information to help us prepare for the effects of climate change on vector borne illnesses. Here is the most important information you should know.

What Are Vector-Borne Diseases?

Vector-borne diseases are illnesses that humans and pets can get from the bites of mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other vectors. Since vectors carry infective pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, they can easily transfer disease. A total of 14 vector-borne diseases are currently of public health concern in the United States, but climate change could cause the number to increase.

How Will Climate Change Affect VBDs?

As climate change causes global temperatures to rise, it’s expected to also extend the season and geographic range of disease-carrying insects. Warmer weather makes it possible for mosquitoes, ticks, and other common vectors to thrive in higher altitudes and regions farthest from the equator where the weather used to be too cold to survive.

Climate change is also triggering increased rainfall and humidity. These two components create the perfect breeding grounds for vectors. Eggs hatch faster in wet, hot climates. This is why public health officials were so concerned about mosquitoes spreading Zika and West Nile Virus infections after Louisiana was hit with massive flooding in 2016.

Finally, climate change will likely cause human migration as people seek new homes, and this migration may make them vulnerable to vector-borne diseases to which they have no immunity or familiarity. Experts especially anticipate rapid spread of infectious diseases in overcrowded urban areas.

Increased Tick and Mosquito Activity

With increasing flooding, changes in precipitation patterns, longer duration of the warm season, and changes in vector behavior, tick and mosquito activity is expected to increase in the future.

It is important to protect yourself and your family from the threats of these vectors, including Lyme Disease, Malaria, and Zika Virus. Call to make an appointment for Mosquito Squad to treat your Clearwater, Florida property for unwanted, dangerous pests.