We’ve had a relatively cool summer (relative to the last decade, that is), but as the heat ramps up, keep an eye out for the summer-loving mosquito. West Nile virus has already been detected twice in Canyon County this summer, and those incidents are going to increase.
And expect them to continue increasing over the coming decades. One climate research organization estimates that West Nile virus cases in the U.S. could double between 1995 and 2050, due to rising temperatures that allow mosquitoes to thrive earlier and later in the summers. They’re most pervasive in the American South, but actually, cases are slightly decreasing there because it’s actually getting too hot for optimal mosquito habitat.
Because mosquitoes are hatched in water, you might think that increasing drought in Idaho could have the accidental benefit of hedging against West Nile infections.
Unfortunately, the opposite is happening. Less water means that animals have fewer places to get fresh water, condensing the area in which mosquitoes can pass on diseases.
So, what can you do?
The best way to prevent mosquitoes from biting you is, of course, to put a barrier between the insect and yourself.
👖 You might be a little warm, but wear long shirts and pants.
🚪 Keep a door between you and mosquitoes: Repair any faulty screen doors, or just stay inside during their peak times of dawn and dusk.
🚫 Use a chemical barrier like DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
Remove standing water. A single female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs at a time every three days, and all she needs is a puddle or bucket of water.
🦟 Get help from the Ada County Mosquito Abatement District.