Warm March weather means mosquitos come sooner

March 13, 2012

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(Flickr/Ragnhild Brosvik)

Those who don't like bugs, beware.

Entomologists are predicting the sunny and near 70 degree weather could mean mosquitoes and insects are coming much earlier than usual. Dr. Joe Spencer of the Illinois Natural History Survey said the lack of cold weather means bugs can mature faster, allowing them to emerge much sooner than they are normally expected to.

David Zazra of the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District said his team is planning to set traps for mosquitos in April, a month earlier than usual, because of the warm weather.

"The water that's out there that might have mosquito larva in it isn't cooling down, and slowing things down, so the warmer things stay, and the warmer the water stays, the more potential there is for mosquito breeding," Zazra said.

Zazra said he's not usually thinking about mosquitoes around this time. He can't recall ever having to prepare before May.

The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures into the 70s for the rest of this week and next week. Zazra said that could increase the chance of seeing mosquitos sooner, but it doesn't mean there will be more of them than usual.

Other than being a nusiance, Spencer said the early arrival of insects won't seem too out of the ordinary. He said if temperatures stay up, plant growth will also come much earlier than usual.

But if there's a cold spell around Easter, Spencer said, like there has been in the past, those mosquitoes won't be coming early any more.

Correction on 03/14/12 at 12:52: An earlier version of this story misspelled Zazra.