The mosquitoes are going nuts this year in Central New York and it is causing an itchy situation for people who love the great outdoors. We're no stranger to bug bites in the Utica-Rome area, but it feels like there is a huge increase in the population and bites this summer. How could this be?

Well, for those who don't know mosquitoes are born out of water or wet areas. In late May June and July, we've seen a significant increase in rainfall. Could there be a connection? Health.ny.gov states,

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near water, and their offspring "grow up" in water before emerging as adults that fly and bite. Therefore, mosquitoes can be controlled by controlling water. Many types of mosquitoes, including those that can transmit disease, lay their eggs in even small amounts of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths and discarded tires. Others lay their eggs in small ponds or other bodies of water. Adult mosquitoes, when not flying, will rest in weeds, tall grass and shrubbery, and other protected areas.

It's not unreasonable to think that the increase in rainfall has contributed to an increase in the mosquito activity and those little itchy bumps on arms, legs and other parts. According to CNYWeather.com, the past three months have been brutal when it comes to rainfall and we've seen a sharp increase in totals. During the month of May we saw an increase of 4.04 inches. In June there was an increase of 6.16 inches and so far in July we've seen an increase of almost 8 inches of rain. Don't you think mosquitoes are populating in your wet yard or backyard pond? Another contributing factor to the increased rainfall and wetness, is the increase in temperatures after the rain falls.

New York State's Health Department offers tips on how to avoid being bitten by these little pests.

  • Cover your skin as completely as possible. Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods or when mosquitoes are more active.
  • Use mosquito repellent, which should always be applied according to label directions.
  • Cover baby carriers with mosquito netting when outside.
  • Stay indoors at sunrise, sunset and early in the evening when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Close doors and make sure open windows have screens on them.

While we can still enjoy what's left of the summer, we have to hope the rain holds off and some of the little biters die off.

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