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Considering there are 176 mosquito species in the United States with different hibernation and egg hatching patterns, it’s important to know when mosquito season starts where you live. The biggest factor that determines this start time is temperature — and while some regions are always warmer than others, the beginning of the season can change given that temps are not exactly the same in any given region from year to year.
However, mosquitoes generally surface when the temperature maintains a fairly consistent 50 degrees or warmer. The warmer the climate, the earlier the season will start and the longer it will most likely last. Below is a helpful map that shows the start of mosquito season across the nation.
Moisture is another crucial factor that affects the onset and prevalence of mosquitoes, as these insects are drawn to water and humidity for breeding and laying eggs. As a result, areas like tropical southern Florida experience a much earlier start (and more distant end) to the season than northern states. Strange as it may seem to some, mosquito season is starting right about now in those southern regions.
It’s very beneficial to know not only when the season begins where you live, but also that you should start preparing for mosquitoes before they actually arrive. By the time they do, it’ll be too late to prevent their reach as much as you could have — and as the temps increase, the breeding cycle shortens. This means it’s not too early to prepare your home and property (before the temp hits that 50-degree mark). Here’s how:
- Remove anything that could collect water: These items include flower pots, birdfeeders, old tires, buckets and wheelbarrows.
- Unclog dirty gutters: Flooded roof gutters and clogged drains can also create standing water, so give them a thorough cleaning.
- Fill in low areas or logs: If you have any small ditches, logs, holes or low-lying areas, be sure to fill them up. Remember: standing water is your enemy.
- Fix damaged or poor screens: Replace window or porch screens that are old or in bad shape, paying attention to the size of their openings to ensure you’re keeping mosquitoes out. A 16-18 mesh is the recommended size.
- Repair any cracks or leaks: Seal any cracks or openings in your house’s exterior walls or foundation to keep away those pesky insects.
- Install bug lights: While these lights won’t keep mosquitoes away completely, they’ll make your property less attractive to them at night.
So go for it! A little preparation now will save a lot of headache later.