Your Stories: Why are there so many mosquitoes this summer?

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — You may have noticed more mosquitoes flying around this year than normal. Multiple NewsChannel 9 viewers reached out wondering why they are out in full force this year.

The reason: the weather we’ve been having this summer.

“It’s been a really wet year and mosquitoes need water to lay their eggs,” said SUNY ESF Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology, Brian Leydet.

This summer, rainfall in the area came in just below 20 inches, making it the second wettest summer after 1922, with data going back to 1902.

According to the Onondaga County Health Department’s website, mosquitoes breed in water that’s not in motion or has no flow.

Leydet explained that the hot days also played a factor in the mosquito count this year. He said that as the temperature increases, mosquitoes develop faster.

This summer was the third hottest on record in the region. Average low temperatures were the warmest we’ve seen. Lows were almost four degrees above normal and we had a record number of 20 days in which the low never dropped below 70 degrees.

The Onondaga County Health department says if you have areas of stagnant water around your home such as on top of your swimming pool cover, rain barrel, or bird bath, you may want to consider treating the water with mosquito dunks.

They also have some tips on using mosquito repellents:

  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent.
  • Always follow the label directions to ensure proper use.
  • Look for repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. Higher amounts of active ingredient provides longer-lasting protection. 
  • Do not allow children to handle repellent. Put a small amount of repellent on your hands and apply it to your child.
  • Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin.
  • Do not use repellents under your clothing.
  • Do not spray repellent directly on your face, especially near the eyes or mouth. Apply repellent sparingly near the ears.
  • Do not use repellent on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Do not spray repellent in enclosed areas.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
  • If you suspect a reaction to a repellent, wash the treated skin with soap and water and contact your local poison control center.

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