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Does La Nina Mean There Is A Mosquito Plague Coming This Summer?

the effect of la nina on mosquitos

It doesn’t matter where you are in Australia during the warmer months of the year, you’re going to encounter mosquitoes. In some regions, mosquitoes are a constant and extremely irritating problem. Australians love the great outdoors and mosquitoes are simply a part of our way of life, but in some instances the problem can be worse than normal.

The coming La Nina promises a cooler and wetter summer than normal for Australia, and experts are warning that this coming season, mosquitoes are going to be breeding like crazy and out in full force. The word is to brace for a mosquito plague this summer, with mosquito numbers much higher than those experienced during a regular summer season.

What Is La Nina?

La Nina is basically a fluctuation in water temperatures near the equator. La Nina is the term used to refer to the cold phase, while El Nino refers to the warmer phase of this temperature cycle. This article gives a great summary: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-19/what-el-nino-la-nina-mean-australian-weather/9053464

The cycle fluctuates every few years, and while one part of the world is in the La Nina phase, other parts of the world will be experiencing El Nino.

These phases can last anywhere from 2 to 7 years, but typically occur every twelve months or so.

With Australia bracing for a La Nina phase of the cycle this coming summer, it means temperatures will be cooler than normal with more rainfall occurring.

 

What is La Nina?

Why Will the Coming La Nina Increase the Mosquito Problem?

It’s true that mosquitoes enjoy a warm to hot climate, and even during a somewhat cooler La Nina phase, the Australian summer is still very warm and for a prolonged period. Although temperatures can get cold during winter in some regions, the country is known for warm weather and long summers.

The main problem facing Australians during the upcoming La Nina cycle is the increase in wet weather. Mosquitoes breed in water, and with more prolonged and regular periods of rain, this will create the ultimate breeding ground for this pesky insect.

As mentioned at the start of this article, experts are warning of increased numbers of mosquitoes in potential plague proportions. This will likely affect every Australian household over the coming summer season.

What Will the Fallout Of La Nina Mean for Australians?

The most obvious result of the upcoming La Nina will be an influx of these biting insects. Whether you’re outside or indoors, mosquito numbers are going to be on the rise in a major way.

Imagine being outside for your regular family barbecue and everyone is getting eaten alive by swarms of mosquitoes. It’ll also be virtually impossible to keep them from getting indoors when there are so many around. Screens will certainly help, but chances are, every single time a front or back door is opened, mosquitoes will sneak inside and wait for a chance to attack.

Sleepless nights and constant mosquito bites is likely to be the outcome.

According to a recent Channel 7 report, the last time Australia experienced a La Nina like the one predicted by experts was 10 years ago, and during that cycle the continent experienced mosquitoes in plague proportions in some areas. Overall, the mosquito population increased markedly in just about all regions of the country. Read the article and watch the video: https://7news.com.au/the-morning-show/australians-warned-to-brace-for-potentially-deadly-horror-mosquitoesseason-c-1566211

Being regularly bitten or annoyed by these biting insects is only a part of the problem. The second major issue will be disease.

It’s a well-known fact that mosquitoes can, and do, spread diseases and viruses. While not every single mosquito bite will result in illness, the potential is always there, and this potential will increase exponentially with the upcoming La Nina phase set to affect our shores.

One key reason why mosquitoes have the potential to spread viruses, disease and illness is because of the environments in which they lay their eggs. Think about this. Mosquitoes lay eggs in still water, such as ponds, lakes, puddles, disused swimming pools, containers in the backyard, buckets, drains, clogged guttering, flood plains, wetlands and more. In fact, anywhere that still and stagnant water is located is a potential breeding hotspot for mosquitoes.

 

Stages of mosquito lifecycle

Much of this stagnant water contains bacteria and parasites. The mosquito larvae are bred in this toxic environment, and once a mosquito has matured and can fly off in search of prey, it could be infected with any number of diseases. It finds a human to bite and injects this parasite or disease into the person’s bloodstream.

While infection is not a guarantee, a La Nina phase increases the chances of pestilence being widespread during the Australian summer.

Potential problems include:

 

  • Ross River Fever
  • Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus
  • Barmah Forest Virus
  • And more…

Read more: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/mosquito-borne-diseases

 

List of mosquito-borne diseases

Protecting Yourself During La Nina

Mosquitoes are most prevalent (and most hungry) at both dusk and dawn. If you can avoid being outdoors during these times of the day, you reduce your chances of being bitten and contracting a disease quite considerably.

Covering up by wearing long-sleeved shorts, long pants, shoes and even gloves will help stave off this annoying insect.

 

Pestrol Australia's range of insect repellent clothing

Pestrol’s Insect Shield Women’s Shirt

It’s only common sense to stock up on insect repellent and to remember to always apply it to any exposed skin to ward of mosquitoes. In fact, every single Australian should get into the habit of carrying insect repellent with them wherever they go during the upcoming summer.

Mosquito repellent is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself against mosquito bites.

Around the home, install some electronic mosquito zappers near the front and back doors, as this can really help keep mosquitoes from getting inside. You’ll also want to consider having a few cans of low-allergenic insect spray in the home in case too many of these pests do happen to find their way indoors.

In Conclusion

While it does promise to be the summer of the mosquito, with some common sense and measures in place to protect yourself, your family and your home, you can survive the La Nina and keep mosquitoes at bay for the most part.

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