WASHINGTON — If all the rain in the DMV of the last few days didn’t bug you, here’s something that might: Mosquitoes.
They’re a summertime nuisance — but are they particularly bad in our area?
Is D.C. a mosquito haven?
Yes. Compared to other cities in the country, the District has a lot of environmental factors making it a good place for mosquitoes to feast.
WHAT WE FOUND:
The District’s nickname is The Swamp, and it has the mosquitos to match. The insects here have quite a reputation for being nasty little blood suckers.
“The D.C. area is the perfect location for mosquitoes,” said Michael Raupp, former University of Maryland professor. He says the high temperatures and low-lying ground are the insects’ perfect breeding conditions. “And hey, when we get enough rainfall, that's going to add to the situation.”
Environmental research group Climate Central reports mosquito season is getting longer: in Washington DC, by more than two weeks, with 16 more “mosquito friendly” weather days in 2022 than in 1979.
“In the DMV, we have two species of mosquitoes that are particularly heinous,” explains Raupp.
“So now you can enjoy a full spectrum from dawn to dusk and even in the middle of the day of giving blood to these tiny vampires,” he said. “It's not good.
Orkin, a pest control company, ranks DC as one of the “worst” US cities for mosquitoes, based on their calls for service.
Wearing repellent and loose-fitting clothes offer some protection from bites, but experts say it’s best to prevent them from breeding in the first place. Trim back low-lying vegetation and dump out any collecting or standing water. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a plastic bottle cap full of water.