May Showers Trigger Mosquito Activity: High Water Table & Standing Water Amplify Breeding

June 01, 2023

Last month, many Maine communities experienced a crazy amount of rainfall (not showers, we were just trying to be clever in the blog title) that resulted in a high-water table and the formation of stagnant pools. Unfortunately, these temporary bodies of water, coupled with the warm and sunny conditions that followed, created a perfect storm for mosquito breeding. As we progress further into spring and inch our way toward summer, there’s a very good chance that there will continue to be significant mosquito hatches, leading to more encounters with these biting pests and an increased risk of mosquito-borne illness. 

mosquito breeding ground on north yarmouth property

Rainfall and high water table create stagnant pools of water

The primary catalyst for the current situation is the amount of rainfall that has saturated the ground, leading to a significant rise in the water table. The water table refers to the level at which the soil is saturated with water, and an exceptionally high water table creates ideal conditions for the formation of stagnant pools – in other words, standing water.

Standing water makes excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes

Stagnant, standing pools of water make for prime mosquito breeding grounds because they provide the necessary water female mosquitoes require to lay their eggs.  In a short period, eggs will hatch into larvae, then the larvae will develop into pupae that will eventually mature into adult mosquitoes that could pose a significant threat to public health. More on mosquito-borne disease soon. 

Warm, sunny weather and mosquito hatching

You might think that warm and sunny weather would help to reduce the amount of standing water and thereby mosquito activity but unfortunately, given the current circumstances, the warm temperatures and abundant sunshine only accelerate the breeding cycle of mosquitoes. The resulting surge in the mosquito population can pose a considerable nuisance and possible health risk. 

Mosquito-borne diseases in Maine 

Worldwide, mosquitoes are known vectors of diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus. Here in Maine, the primary mosquito-borne illnesses of concern include:

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

EEE is a rare but severe viral disease that can affect humans and horses. While cases are infrequent, they can be fatal. Symptoms may include high fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, and, in more severe cases, neurological complications.

West Nile Virus (WNV)

WNV is another viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. Most people infected with WNV do not experience any symptoms. However, some may develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. In rare cases, severe neurological conditions can arise.

Jamestown Canyon Virus (JCV)

JCV is a less common mosquito-borne disease in Maine, but it has been detected in the state. JCV can cause flu-like symptoms and, in some cases, lead to severe neurological conditions.

It is important to note that while these mosquito-borne illnesses exist in Maine, the risk of transmission to people is relatively low. Regardless, taking precautions to prevent mosquito bites is still recommended.

Make your property less appealing to mosquitoes

If you’d rather not spend your summer indoors due to mosquitoes and the health risks associated with them, you should take proactive measures to minimize your and your family’s exposure in your yard. Here are some mosquito prevention tips:

Eliminate standing water

Identify and remove any sources of standing water around your home or community. Mosquitoes can breed even in small quantities of stagnant water, such as flower pots, tarps, canoes, tires, bird baths, and clogged gutters.

Use repellents

Apply EPA-approved mosquito repellents containing active ingredients like DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors.

Wear protective clothing

Cover exposed skin by wearing long sleeves, pants, and socks when mosquitoes are most active, usually during dawn and dusk.

Install screens

Ensure windows and doors have properly fitted screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
Sign up for seasonal mosquito control: Work with a local pest control company that specializes in mosquito control to treat your property while these biting pests are active.

Contact Pine State Pest Solutions For Seasonal Mosquito Control

For effective mosquito control that protects against mosquito bites and allows you to enjoy your yard and outdoor living space to the fullest this summer, contact Pine State Pest Solutions. Our locally owned and operated pest control company offers seasonal mosquito treatments in Auburn, Poland, and Falmouth as well as throughout our multi-county service area. When you choose our team to fight mosquitoes on your property, we will: 

  • Inspect your property to identify mosquito breeding and resting areas.
  • Perform monthly misting treatments from May through September to drastically reduce the mosquito population on your property.
  • Let you know if we see anything on your property that could contribute to the mosquito problem – i.e., water collecting in a tarp lying under the deck or an old tire holding recent rainfall.

Don’t let mosquitoes prevent you from being outdoors when it’s warm and sunny, contact the experienced pest control pros at Pine State today and bite back against mosquitoes!

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