Will above-average rainfall in Tucson lead to an overactive Mosquito season?

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 7:52 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Experts are warning of a possible busy mosquito season with the above-average rainfall the Old Pueblo has seen since the beginning of the year.

According to Nicholas Ramirez, Pima County’s Environmental Health Supervisor, the severity of the season will be hard for experts to predict. As of right now, Ramirez said mosquito activity in Arizona is pretty low.

But that could be about to change.

“With all the rain we are having now, we anticipate an insane mosquito season,” Mike Boyle with Burns Pest Elimination in Tucson said.

Since the start of the year, the Tucson area has seen a little over three inches of rain, making it the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“You’ll probably see more mosquitos in drainage areas and washes,” Ramirez said. “Not necessarily on this side of town or that side of town, but usually in your washes and drainage areas, you’ll find more mosquitoes.”

Floodwater Mosquitos, which are commonly found in Arizona, lay their eggs in types of muddy and wet conditions. The eggs they lay are known to stay dormant for weeks and hatch in warmer conditions.

“The biggest thing is the community needs to reduce water in their yards,” Ramirez said.

He also suggests using mosquito traps. Ramirez said even though they look like a simple black bucket of paint with a net, these traps are one of the few defenses helping control the mosquito population in Pima County.

The traps are designed to attract females to lay their eggs inside, keeping millions of eggs from hatching and possibly saving lives.

“Mosquitoes are considered one of the most dangerous insects or animals on the planet,” Ramirez said. “They cause a lot of diseases.”

Ramirez points back to two years ago when the county saw a record amount of rainfall that led to high mosquito activity throughout Southern Arizona.

Ramiez adds the recent rain could mean the same for this upcoming season, adding that the cooler temperatures are keeping the bugs away right now, but it’s only a matter of time before they show up.

“Our temperatures are still typically falling below 50 degrees at night, so that is slowing it down,” Boyle said. “As soon as that night time temp starts creeping up above 50 degrees, we are going to see more.”

Experts say it’s important for you at home to take action now if you are having issues with mosquitoes.

They recommend removing any flower beds, since nectar is the main source of food for the insect, and make sure all standing water is drained from your yard.