Above normal temperatures and precipitation this year have entomologists forecasting a heavier surge in mosquitoes this summer for the eastern half of the United States.
"Even with the recent polar jet stream dropping snow throughout the Northeast, summer is still off to a bad start when it comes to mosquitoes," said John Hainze, Ph.D., and president of BioOpus, LLC. "Overall, the warmer than average winter and wetter spring have created an early population spike for mosquitoes."
The Northeast had its seventh warmest winter at 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, according to the Northeast Region Climate Center at Cornell University. This winter was among the 10 warmest for all 12 Northeast states. The Northeast also experienced 113 percent of normal precipitation during winter, ranking in the wettest third of all years.
In December, the Midwest region saw temperatures climb 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal while January was up to 13 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal. Winter precipitation was 102 percent of average.
More Rain and Heat Means More Mosquitoes
"When it comes to predicting mosquito population, temperature and rainfall are two major predictors," said Hainze. "This year's warmer temperatures and increased rainfall created the perfect recipe for mosquitoes to get a head start on breeding."
With scientists forecasting increased summer heat and moisture in certain regions, Hainze believes most of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River will see the mosquito population thrive and rapidly expand.
The Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlook for June through August is predicting 33-40 percent probability for above mean precipitation levels for the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast regions.
The NOAA is also forecasting hotter than normal summer temperatures for the eastern Midwest, Southeast, and Atlantic coast with a 50-70 percent probability for above mean temperatures.
More Mosquitoes Meet More People
Amid ongoing concerns around the growing COVID-19 pandemic, more people are spending time in private backyards, patios or decks, local public parks, or private balconies, according to a recent survey conducted by Thermacell® Repellents, Inc.
The Thermacell May 2020 Outdoor Behavior Survey polled 500 participants in the U.S. to learn more about outdoor behaviors and activities in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic.
"As people are turning to the outdoors to escape these troubled times, they are unfortunately running into a period of increased mosquito activity," said Kyle Adelman, senior marketing manager at Thermacell. "Compared to this time last year, we're experiencing record sales and growth with our mosquito repellent products."
Thermacell, a leading manufacturer of area mosquito repellents, revealed that nearly half (48 percent) of Americans surveyed indicated they are spending more or significantly more time outdoors. Yet 77 percent reported having mosquitoes interrupt an outdoor activity.
More than one third (38 percent) of the respondents said that mosquitoes annoy them most during the summer, followed by humidity (24 percent) and heat (16 percent).
Pleasant summer weather drives more people to spend their time outdoors. That same weather, unfortunately, also drives dramatic increases in the mosquito population. Keep summertime activities free from nuisance mosquitoes with a protection solution that includes area repellents for when you're stationary and topical while you're on the go.