Itchy? Triple the Mosquitoes Buzz US This Summer

Three years' worth of them hatched in Southeast this year
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2013 12:20 PM CDT
Itchy? Triple the Mosquitoes Buzz US This Summer
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring a blood meal from a human host.   (AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, James Gathany)

(Newser) – If the mosquito attacks seem particularly vicious this summer, it's not because the bugs have grown meaner—it's just because there's more of them. Way more of them. Two years of drought in Southeastern states meant many eggs didn't get wet enough to hatch in 2011 or 2012. When heavy rain fell this year, those bugs were born, in addition to all the 2013 ones, the AP reports. In Minnesota, mosquito traps last month contained three times as many bugs as usual, while some in California had five times the normal numbers of one mosquito species.

Mosquito control in one southwestern Florida county says it has been receiving 300 calls a day, and some inspectors had more than 100 mosquitoes a minute landing on their legs in the most troubled areas. Meanwhile, say mosquito experts, it's getting harder for humans to fight back, as the pesky bugs may soon develop a resistance to repellents and insecticides. "It's an arms race," says one researcher. "I always think they are one step ahead of us." (Read more mosquito stories.)

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