AUSTIN (KXAN) – Spring just started, but already we’re coming up on prime time for mosquitoes in Central Texas.
“It’s definitely picking back up and I’m not looking forward to it, but we’re still right before it gets bad, so I’ve been enjoying this walk without having to put mosquito repellent or anything on just yet,” said Neeti Swami from Round Rock.
We typically have two mosquito seasons each year. The first from April into early summer and then again in the fall.
“Usually we talk about mosquitoes being active at dawn and dusk, but we also have mosquitoes that are going to be active during the daytime. So we’re lucky we get all day,” said Wizzie Brown, an entomologist at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.
Coming off a colder than normal January and February, plus a late-season freeze in March, you might think that would mean fewer mosquitoes this year.
“Mosquitos have ways of adapting to freezing temperatures, so they’re going to be here regardless. If you think about it, they have tons of mosquitos in Minnesota and they have winter forever,” Brown added.
Forecasting mosquito activity is less about what happened in winter and more about what happens in the spring.
Temperatures consistently above 70 degrees help promote mosquito reproduction which can speed up or slow down depending on temperatures, but mosquitos need standing water to grow.
Even free-flowing creeks can have some areas of standing water. Water away from the main current, especially when combined with organic material, can be the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos.
There is one sign pointing to fewer mosquitoes this year — the expectation for drought conditions to continue to develop or get worse.
Brown suggested, “If we don’t get rain, which there have been years where that has happened, they don’t have those breeding sites and it makes it really difficult for them.”
Without rain, of course, we’d have other problems to deal with.