When is Mosquito Season in the Pacific Northwest?
Mosquito season in the U.S. is dictated by climate in each region of the country. Here in the cool and rainy Pacific Northwest, mosquito season generally runs from May to September. Unfortunately though, our mild temperatures and high levels of precipitation provide ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The temperature needs to be above 50° for these insects to become active, and they truly thrive when temps are above 70°.
In general, mosquito activity increases in late spring or early summer and reaches peak season during July and August. Mosquito activity can be influenced by both natural and human-made factors. It is important to take the preparation steps provided below and implement them before a problem arises.
Dangers of Mosquitoes
According to the World Health Organization, mosquito bites account for the deaths of more than 700,000 people every year, with a majority of these deaths due to malaria. Diseases from mosquito bites fall into Vector-borne diseases, which include diseases like malaria and others such as dengue fever, Zika virus, and yellow fever. One of the scariest facts about mosquitoes is that you may not even know they are biting you until they are finished.
The most common disease spread by mosquitoes in the PNW is West Nile virus, but these pests are also known to transmit malaria and other pathogens. There is no known medicine that can prevent a mosquito from transferring a disease. Because of how dangerous these tiny insects can be, it is important to stay vigilant about prevention.
What Can You Do to Prepare Yourself for Mosquito Season?
Even though the Pacific Northwest mosquito season is short compared to other areas of the country, it can still be a nuisance and a health hazard. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to keep your space as pest-free as possible.
- Maintain Your Yard
Mosquitoes love overgrown, shady areas, as they primarily feed on nectar, vegetation, and organic matter. This is why it is important to trim back the shrubs, grass, and other vegetation from your property, especially from around your house. Thinning branches and stems allow more sunlight and air movement, drying out these areas and making it less desirable for mosquitoes to hang out near your house.
- Eliminate Standing Water
Mosquitoes require stagnant water to lay their eggs. These pools need only be the size of a bottle cap to become a nursery. This means any exposed water around your property could be attractive to mosquitoes. Remove any debris such as tarps, empty planters, buckets, and old tires. Birdbaths, fountains, and pet water dishes should be changed daily to eliminate fertilized eggs. If you have a pond, consider adding a feature that keeps the water circulating to keep eggs from hatching.
- Keep Your Drains and Rain Gutters Clean
If your gutters are filled with leaves and debris they could become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Remember even small amounts of water will be a perfect incubator for mosquito eggs.
- Try to Avoid Being Outdoors During Peak Mosquito Hours
Mosquitoes are generally most active during the hours around dawn and dusk. Minimize your risk of bites by wearing long sleeves and long pants while outdoors. Also, using a repellent containing DEET sprayed on your clothing can deter them from biting you.
Ongoing Mosquito Control
To control mosquito populations, you must revisit the areas where you have a potential mosquito habitat. Check for pooling water after rain. Clear any vegetation that has grown back in areas that you already have mowed or trimmed.
Even if you have tried to prevent mosquitoes from invading your yard, these pests are persistent. Mosquitoes can be a risk to your health and take away from you and your family enjoying the yard this coming summer. Consider calling the experts at Antworks Pest Control before mosquitoes have the chance to wreak havoc on your yard or home. For over 15 years, Antworks has provided the Portland Metro area with safe, reliable, and effective pest control.