Warmer Weather Causes Rise in Mosquito and Tick Populations
You’ve probably noticed the plethora of mosquitoes out lately. And no, you’re not just imagining it, there are more than usual. Due to the warmer than usual Spring that we experienced in Michigan this year, parts of the state are seeing a lot of bugs like mosquitoes and ticks.
According to the Detroit News, some trees are showing signs of pests like gypsy moths and Lecanium scale. In addition, the overlap of warmer-than-usual spring weather and the start of summer have exacerbated the overgrowth of the mosquito population. Even worse, the abundance of rainfall that we’re sure to experience this summer, will keep them reproducing throughout the coming weeks.
From April 1 through June 11, the average daily temperature has exceeded the historical average 47 times. As a result of the warmer weather and little frost, mosquitoes and ticks have had more time and resources to survive and thrive.
Other states, like Oklahoma, are also experiencing a rise in the number of mosquitoes and ticks and health departments are warning their citizens to take precautions to protect themselves against the diseases that these pests carry. For example, ticks can transmit a host of diseases including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia. Similarly, mosquitoes can carry the West Nile Virus. Unfortunately, these serious diseases can mimic other illnesses since symptoms are common and can include fever, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, abdominal pain and rash or swelling. However, diseases like the West Nile virus can cause long-term neurological damage if left untreated. Thus, if you plan to spend a great deal of time outdoors during the warmer months of the year, take some simple precautions including using an insect repellant with DEET, wearing lighter colored clothing so ticks are easier to spot, and eliminating standing water where mosquitoes like to breed.