We're not the only ones enjoying the warm weather this Fall, mosquitoes are too! Over the past several months Professor Emeritus Mike Raupp and PhD student Arielle Arsenault-Benoit have been fielding questions on when mosquito season is expected to end and whether or not climate change is a factor in mosquitos lingering longer than years past.
Raupp in the Diamondback:
Entomology professor Michael Raupp explained that temperature increases the speed in which insects develop, grow, molt and capture their prey. In a warming world, winter is shorter, so mosquitoes become active earlier in the year and remain active later in the year.
Arsenault-Benoit in the Washingtonian:
This matters because mosquitoes “take a lot of their cues from the environment,” says Arielle Arsenault-Benoit, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, who has been collecting and conducting research on mosquitoes for three years. “The temperatures are not very cold for the [mosquito] adults to realize it’s getting to be winter,” Arsenault-Benoit says
Raupp in The Washington Post:
Raupp mentioned that the mosquito species Culex pipiens, common house mosquitoes that are well-known carriers of West Nile virus, can remain active all year. “Even on warm days in late autumn or winter in D.C., there could be blood,” Raupp said. “These devils live and breed year round in basements, parking garages, and tunnels under cities. They can bubble out and feed when it is warm enough.”