DC-area mosquito population booms with summer heat

WASHINGTON — The hot, humid and stormy weather has created the perfect breeding ground in the D.C. region for mosquitoes.

“With the cool temperatures earlier this year and a little bit of drought, we basically got off to a slow start with mosquitoes, but boy, we really have caught up now with thunderstorms almost on a daily basis somewhere,” Dr. Michael Raupp, “Bug Guy” and University of Maryland etymology professor, told WTOP.

The increase in rainfall means water is collecting in flower pots, bird baths and gutters, creating the ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

Raupp said temperatures in the 90s allow mosquitoes to complete a generation in a week to 10 days.

“It’s really important for people to go out and eliminate those breeding sites,” Raupp said.

That means dumping items around your property that have been collecting water and clearing any plugs that are keeping them from draining properly.

Once you eliminate breeding sources, the next thing to do is protect yourself from mosquito bites.

“Use insect repellent on your bare skin,” Raupp said. “Things like picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or — if you have a lot of mosquitoes — products with DEET. This will help protect you from mosquito bites.”

Wearing some extra clothing also will help keep mosquitoes from finding you attractive.

“Lightweight, long-sleeve shirts light in color are going to help reduce attraction by mosquitoes, and they’ll also help prevent those mosquitoes from biting.”

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