Stormwaters Receding, but the Mosquitoes Aren't

Bugs are out in force in Houston, and it may be a common theme elsewhere
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2024 8:21 AM CDT
As Houston's Storms Subside, Mosquitoes Do the Opposite
A mailbox is partially submerged on a flooded street in east Harris County near Houston on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

Houston is soaked. And the unusually heavy rain of the last few weeks—including a devastating storm last week—has led to an annoying side effect: mosquitoes. The city of bayous is all too familiar with the pests, of course, but they are out early and with a vengeance this year, reports the Washington Post. "If I were to anecdotally gauge how many calls we're getting this year compared to the same time last year, it's definitely triple," the owner of a pest-control business tells the Houston Landing.

Authorities in Harris County back up the assessment, having caught 111 mosquitoes per trap in April, up from 89 last year and 61 the previous year. The May stats might well be worse, if the comments in both stories are any indication. The heavy rains have left standing water and drenched soil in their wake, the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The Post story takes a bigger-picture look at the issue, suggesting that the mosquito uptick in Houston is likely to become a familiar story elsewhere in the US and the world.

"As it gets warmer earlier, we see a larger amount of mosquitoes earlier," Max Vigilant, director of mosquito and vector control in Harris County, tells the newspaper. "We are getting hotter temperatures earlier." Meanwhile, most of the hundreds of thousands of people who lost power in last week's Houston storms have their lights back on again, reports the AP. Those storms left seven people dead in their wake. (More mosquito stories.)

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