The record summer rainfall in parts of the East has municipalities and residents looking for relief from mosquitoes that threaten to take to the fun out of being outdoors.
Parts of the Eastern Seaboard received rain from a combination of five tropical systems, which created breeding grounds for the blood-sucking insects.
Mosquito control districts from the Southeast to the Northeast report seeing an increase in mosquito activity due to the increased rainfall.
Kris McMorland, Director of Morris County Mosquito Control in New Jersey, said it's been a struggle to keep up with the mosquito problems created by the record rain events. "I’ve been doing this for 28 years, and I would put this year in the top five for activity."
Experts say that with the change of season, there could be some relief on the way.
Eva Buckner, an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Medical Entomology Laboratory, said areas will see some relief when temperatures reach around 50 degrees. "In general, when temperatures drop to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, that is when you are going to notice the mosquito activity decreasing."
Dr. Eva said the news for humans gets even better when temperatures near the 32-degree mark. "When you have freezing temperatures, that is when you are going to see more mosquito mortality."
Dr. Eva warns that just because temperatures drop, it does not mean the complete demise of the mosquito population. Some adults and larvae can make it through the winter months, if they shielded from the elements.
"Some species will seek out sheltered locations that are less susceptible to the cooler temperatures," Dr. Eva said.
Protect yourself from bites
If you don’t want to wait for the cooler temperatures to do their job in taking the bite out of mosquitoes, the Centers for Disease Control says there are several actions you can do to reduce the threat.
The CDC suggests using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, checking property for standing waters, and avoiding going outdoors at dawn and dusk.
Dr. Eva said following the CDC advice can help reduce the threats posed by mosquitoes and added it is essential to do so because the animal is considered the deadliest on earth.
In 2017, the CDC reported that more than 435,000 people died from malaria spread by the insect.
Experts say that of the around 200 types of mosquitoes in the U.S., only around a dozen can spread viruses.