What is the worst time of year for mosquitoes?

When is the worst time of year for mosquitoes? It’s probably not what you think.

Most people seem to think that summer is the peak time of year for mosquitoes. The hot, muggy summer when everyone is outside seems to fit the narrative of the worst time of year for mosquitoes. People on the beach, in the pool, at a cookout, etc. with these pesky bloodsuckers hanging around comes to mind. People are rejecting them, itching from previous bites and hating mosquitoes more every day. Sounds miserable, right? But it’s not the worst time of year for mosquitoes. Not even remotely.

The worst time of year for mosquitoes is fall. Yes, between late September and early November (depending on when it first freezes), but it’s right around the first day of fall when the worst time of year for mosquitoes begins.

How can it be? They don’t seem to be that annoying… but maybe it’s because you’re not out as much. Once school starts each year, outdoor activities seem to slow down. People aren’t that close to these buzzing pests this time of year, so how is it worse?

Because fall is the time of year when mosquitoes spread the most diseases.

You rarely hear about West Nile Virus in May. Eastern equine encephalitis does not start until late in the season. If you look at the data from the Centers for Disease Control on mosquito-borne diseases, the incidences increase significantly as fall arrives.

Depending on where you live, the mosquito population varies. Northern climates basically wipe these pests out completely during the winter freeze. Each spring, the new hatchlings are a fresh new batch that have not yet been exposed to disease, therefore they have little to propagate. The further south you live, some mosquitoes may continue to breed during the colder months, but populations are significantly reduced and the spread of disease is minimized.

Once a new crop of skeeters begins to emerge in the spring, the opportunity for disease begins to slowly decline to peak in the fall. Warmer weather creates more standing water, which are the perfect breeding grounds. As time passes, these bloodsuckers migrate to more fertile ground where food sources are abundant. Any place where livestock and animals roam or where people frequently gather is ripe for abundant supplies of blood to suck. The more victims are mosquito bites, the greater the chance of spreading the disease. In other words, if a mosquito bites only you, there is probably no disease. If you get bitten by a mosquito that has fed on 100 other people, the probability of getting sick increases exponentially.

At this time of year, it is imperative to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites to avoid the diseases they can transmit. Make sure this fall isn’t YOUR worst time of year!

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