Jul 29, 2016

Climate change is extending mosquito season in the D.C. region — bad news for Zika

Baltimore, MD
Washington, DC
USA
by
Angela Fritz
,
Washington Post
Asian tiger mosquitoes are a vector for Zika, and climate change is prolonging their active season in the U.S. Photo: Andre Penner/AP
Asian tiger mosquitoes are a vector for Zika, and climate change is prolonging their active season in the U.S. Photo: Andre Penner/AP

As if climate change wasn’t already bad enough, we now have one more reason to change course. Summer heat is hanging around longer, the days are becoming more humid, and mosquito season is lengthening, which means an increased risk of vector-borne diseases like Zika.

Baltimore tops the list of growing mosquito seasons, according to an analysis by Climate Central. Since 1980, the metro area has seen a 37-day increase in the season of bug bites, which now lasts 152 days on average. In Washington, the season has lengthened by 29 days to 143.

Why is this happening? As temperatures slowly increase across the United States, the number of days above 50 degrees grows. And as things get warmer, more moisture is evaporated into the air which increases the humidity. Mosquitoes love hot and humid days