Mosquitoes are nothing new to Minnesotans, who sometimes refer to the infamous pest as their state bird.
Seeley: “Mosquitoes are considered both a nuisance and a vector for certain types of diseases.”
Mark Seeley is a climatologist and professor at the University of Minnesota.
He says mosquitoes thrive in warm, wet conditions. A warm, early spring means mosquitoes have a chance to breed sooner, leading to more mosquitoes and, potentially, more disease.
As the world warms, spring is arriving earlier and earlier.
Seeley: “Something like 75 percent of the last 20 spring seasons we’ve had have come on extraordinarily early.”
Intense rainfalls have also become more frequent. When the ground cannot absorb more water, standing pools provide mosquitoes with an ideal habitat and breeding ground.
It all adds up to a long buggy summer. On average, the mosquito season in Minneapolis is more than thirty days longer today than it was in 1980.
As the climate in Minneapolis continues to warm, so will the potential for outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus.
Reporting credit: Justyna Bicz/ChavoBart Digital Media.