Many Americans are happy about the fact that this past winter was colder than usual. Typically, most people are not necessarily happy about prolonged periods of unusually cold weather. However, these days cold weather is one of the best weapons against insect pests. When the Zika virus was ravaging South America and the Caribbean during the summer of 2015 and 2016, the winters that preceded these summers were unusually mild. Obviously, many people and scientists alike blamed the mosquito scourge on the repeated mild winters. Since this year’s winter was remarkably cold, there should not be as many mosquito pests in the air this year. Unfortunately, experts say that this may just be wishful thinking, as mosquito eggs are already hatching and it is not even March yet. Some experts are saying that certain mosquito populations have tripled in some regions.
If you were one of the many people who assumed that the cold winter would mean a delayed mosquito appearance this year, then you were not the only one. In fact, even expert researchers believed that mosquito-spraying could be delayed this year due to the freezing cold winter. Luckily, this year many mosquito adults failed to overwinter and survive until the spring season due to the cold, but their eggs did survive, and they are currently hatching. This is probably why most of the mosquitoes captured so far have tested negative for disease. According to one expert, mosquito eggs are hatching in wet and rainy forests, so mosquito populations are actually remarkably high already. This is why woodland marsh areas are now being sprayed heavily for mosquitoes. Since Florida is rich in wet marshlands, the sudden increase in mosquitoes is most apparent in this state. According to Hillsborough County’s Mosquito Control director, the month of February has seen three times the amount of mosquitoes than the ones that were counted and documented during the previous month of January. Although mosquitoes are out in large numbers again, we can hope that mosquito-borne disease does not become an issue during 2018.
Judging by the signs, do you think that mosquito-borne disease will become an issue once again this year? If yes, do you think that the Zika virus will become the disease to fear in 2018?
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