Many of us have been able to enjoy our yards, balconies and neighborhood walks these last couple of months without being pestered by mosquitoes. It’s been nice, but… Where are they?
Ken Ferebee, a National Park Service ranger in Rock Creek Park, attributes their delay in harassing us to a dry May that left the mosquitoes with few puddles for breeding and hatching larvae. But he warns that he’s been seeing plenty of larvae lately. And, “it takes 7-10 days for mosquitoes to emerge after egg laying with warm temperatures that we are experiencing.” (Lovely.)
Peter Armbruster, a Georgetown University biology professor who focuses his research on the Asian tiger mosquito, thinks another reason for the lack of mosquito bites was the wet but cool April. However, he agrees with Ferebee that they will be biting soon. Armbruster advises searching your yard for any water-filled containers, dumping the water, and preventing standing water from accumulating. Also, he advises getting rid of gutter extensions, another breeding ground, or periodically flushing out the extensions.
If those measures don’t keep the mosquitoes at bay, you can find at effective bug repellent to apply to your skin. Consumer Reports rates the effectiveness of a variety of brands using different ingredients.
You can also cover up, but that gets hard when the heat descends. At that point I give up and retreat to the great indoors.