Mosquito Population will Increase with Climate Change say University of Arizona Researchers
Research on the impact of climate change on mosquitoes has revealed that their populations will increase, as well as experience changes in geographic location and season. Paul Robbins and colleagues at the University of Arizona are studying mosquitoes through computer modeling and direct trapping. In general, higher temperatures will facilitate an increase in mosquito population during the spring and fall seasons, while higher temperatures in the summer will decrease breeding habitats due to a drier environment.
Mosquito control is a challenge when taking into account global climate changes. Computer models have shown researchers that the Southwestern U.S. is predicted to have drier conditions, but would not decrease mosquito populations in May and June, which extends the length of the season since mosquitoes rely heavily on water sources that are not controlled by precipitation (i.e. man-made, permanent sources such as irrigation networks). Research done in 2007 and 2008 indicates that the mosquito Aedes aegypti takes at least six days to develop from egg to adult and Culex quinquefasciatus takes a minimum of a week. Given that information, scientists recommend intervention early on in the mosquito season in order to control their numbers later.
Researchers conclude that mosquito control methods will have to begin earlier and extend later into the year than it has in the past, potentially competing with other seasonal concerns. Researchers are also evaluating the institutional arrangements of the agencies and departments that are in charge of controlling and monitoring mosquitoes, and aim to help improve the way state and government programs handle mosquito populations.