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The month of May has arrived, but luckily for Massachusetts residents, insect pests like mosquitoes and gnats have not yet become much of a nuisance due to the recent low temperatures in the state. But experts claim that insect pest populations will soon explode due to the recent bouts of rainfall in many parts of the state. This recent heavy rainfall has created many areas of standing water that already contain mosquito eggs, and once 70 degree or above temperatures last for a period of two or three days, these eggs will hatch, releasing massive amounts of developing mosquitoes.

Residents can help to reduce the mosquito population by simply ridding their property of all sources of standing water. The most common sources of standing water in residential areas include the saucers below flower pots, bird baths, clogged gutters, and children’s toys that are left on lawns. Obviously, reducing mosquito populations in residential and urban areas will also reduce the amount of mosquito-borne diseases that are contracted by residents. The two most significant mosquito-borne diseases that pose a threat to Massachusetts residents are West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Unfortunately, the mosquito season in Massachusetts is becoming longer. Global warming may be a controversial issue, but there is no denying that winter temperatures have been getting progressively more mild in Massachusetts over the years. This progressive warming is making the spring and summer seasons last for longer periods, which results in higher mosquito populations that pester residents for longer spans of time. According to one study, the mosquito season in Springfield lasted for an average of 64 days between 1980 and 1989, but this span of time increased to 90 days in between 2006 and 2015. The best way to prevent mosquito bites is to make sure your home does not contain any openings where mosquitoes can gain entrance, such as holes in window screens. It would also be wise for residents to do their best to avoid stepping outdoors during dusk when mosquito biting activity is at its highest. When spending time outdoors, it is recommended that residents wear long sleeves and apply mosquito repellent that contains DEET.

Do you usually find mosquitoes congregating in your yard or home during the summer season?