Summertime brings a lot for us to deal with in the Phoenix area: rising electric bills, scorching heat, UV rays from the long days of sunshine, and bug infestations. Mosquitoes in particular!
Why are mosquitoes so active in the summertime?
The Phoenician summer features a combination of conditions that enable mosquitoes to thrive. First, there are the numerous water systems used to either cool us down or keep our plant life alive, like irrigation systems, sprinklers, pools, and fountains. (Not to mention natural water sources like lakes, rivers, and canals found throughout the local and outer-lying areas.) These sources contribute to the local humidity in their vicinity, so they become excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The humidity that the monsoon season brings further nurtures their breeding and survival, so expect an even greater increase in mosquito activity when the monsoon begins in a few weeks.
Are mosquito bites dangerous?
They can be. There are a variety of species of mosquitoes, and in every species it is only the female that bites and takes blood from a host. Males do not bite or take blood. Because of their frequent contact with blood, they often serve as carriers or vectors of different types of diseases between hosts. Among the most alarming are:
- Western Equine Encephalitis – a disease that can infect both humans and horses.
- Zika virus. (According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquitos are the primary carrier of the virus!)
When are mosquitoes active?
Weather is the greatest determinant of mosquito activity, but they are normally active in the Phoenix area from March to October.
What can I do to keep mosquitoes away?
Mosquitoes are not only nourished by water but actively breed in it. Minimizing or eliminating open water sources (whether standing or running water) is the most important step in keeping them away. Otherwise, a regular professional pest control treatment may be necessary to get them under control.