Depending on where you live, it might seem like mosquito season lasts all year long and unfortunately in some states that might be true. No matter where you live, though, mosquitoes are irritating. The best way to avoid these pests and their itchy bites is to know when they’re most active so you can help defend yourself.
Find out when mosquito season occurs in your region and learn how to prepare.
The Perfect Conditions:
Mosquitoes thrive under certain conditions, and these help dictate the when mosquitoes are active and non-active. Typically, mosquitoes become active at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they require temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit to truly thrive.
Additionally, mosquitoes prefer moist, humid environments. These are prime breeding conditions, and warm areas with heavy rainfall may see increased mosquito populations and activity.
When Exactly is Mosquito Season?
Generally speaking, mosquito season in the U.S. is dictated by climate in various regions.
NEW ENGLAND, NORTHERN MIDWEST AND PACFIC NORTHWEST:
Mosquito season: May – September
The cooler temperatures in these regions mean they experience the shortest mosquito seasons in the country. These states include Washington, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
MID-ATLANTIC, MIDWEST AND WEST:
Mosquito season: April – September
Comprising most of the United States, these regions typically experience milder (even cool or cold) temperatures, which may not be as conducive to mosquito activity. States in these areas include California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
According to the American Mosquito Control Association, West Virginia has the fewest number of mosquito species (26), while Texas has the most (85).
Keep Mosquitos Away:
If you live in one of the areas with a lengthy mosquito season, there are a few steps you can take to help prepare before it hits:
- Eliminate standing water – Mosquitoes breed in and around standing water, so be sure that you’re not letting it build up in bird baths, pet bowls or other containers.
- Keep drains and gutters clear – Gutters filled with leaves and debris are also potential mosquito breeding grounds. Even a small amount of water can be sufficient for laying eggs.
- Maintain your yard and pool – Debris that builds up in your yard can also lead to unwanted puddles and mosquitoes. Collect leaves, twigs and other items. If you have a pond, consider adding a feature that keeps the water moving to help prevent eggs from successfully hatching. Additionally, if you have a pool, you should keep it properly maintained.
- Try to avoid being outside during peak mosquito hours – Mosquitoes tend to be most active at dawn and dusk, although specific hours may vary by species. Minimize your risk of being bitten by wearing long sleeves and pants if you’re outside during these times.