ORONO – We waited all winter for warm summer days and now they are here. Unfortunately, so are the mosquitoes and we could see a bumper crop.
If you’ve found yourself wondering if there are more mosquitoes this summer, you’re not alone.
Griffin Dill, the integrated pest management professional for the University of Maine, said the reason for the increase in mosquito activity is the rainy weather the state has had recently, creating water habitats for mosquitoes to thrive in.
“The mosquitoes tended to stay inactive in the early spring and then all emerged in early June. So for the month of June, we’ve seen high mosquito activity, a lot of mosquitoes out. So certainly something that we’re seeing on a statewide basis,” Dill said.
With more mosquitoes, there’s an increased chance someone could get sick from their bites.
“In Maine, West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are both serious illnesses that have been found. Fortunately, they are relatively rare but they are something to think about. It’s a little bit moving beyond just the simple annoyance that’s posed by mosquitoes and moving into that threat of disease,” Dill said.
He said people can avoid bites by wearing long sleeve clothing, using bug spray and getting rid of standing water.
“Really all it takes is about a tablespoon of water, that’s enough for mosquitoes to breed in. Anything that’s accumulating in water that they can dump out, so things like birdbaths, clogged gutters anything like that where even a small amount of standing water can accumulate is an important thing to try to minimize,” Dill said.
Going forward, he suggested that people hope for a dry summer.
“If the rainy weather continues throughout the summer then certainly we could see elevated mosquito activity for the entire summer. We’re hoping that it will kind of warm up, dry out we’ll have our normal sunny summer. But if we don’t see that we certainly mosquito activity an be an issue all year long,” Dill said.