Have You Noticed Fewer Mosquitoes This Summer? Here’s Why
Maltese summers are known for 3 things: sweltering heat, turquoise sea and the incessant buzzing of the ubiquitous mosquito.
One of those three seems to be peculiarly absent this summer, however. If you’ve found yourself able to calmly enjoy summer nights without the trouble of a persistent pest drawing at your blood, then you’re not alone.
Actually, there’s a logical explanation, and it’s more sinister than what you might think:
Insect Expert Arnold Sciberras explained to SideStreet that this is, in part, due to global warming. The absence of the mosquito can be seen by some as a blessing, the tiger mosquito, in particular, carrying serious diseases including dengue fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus and Zika.
Mosquitoes thrive in warm temperatures. Their preferred temperature is anything above 21°C, which means they can exist for some length of time on every continent in the world except for Antarctica. They primarily like to live in places that are warm throughout the year, have moist climates, and have large amounts of standing water.
In Malta, the lack of rainfall experienced in the months leading up to summer meant that insects, such as mosquitoes, found less damp areas where they could spawn. Sciberras also warned that the use of insect-killing devices has also reduced the already diminished number of mosquitos in Malta.
“Mosquitoes are not the only insects affected by this, hornets are also spawning in smaller numbers,” Sciberras said, explaining that when Malta does eventually experience rainfall, we can expect a sudden surge in hornet spawns to take place.
Sciberras also warned that global warming has caused extensive damage to the Maltese ecosystem. Mosquitoes are among other insects are vital parts of the small fauna food chain. They are a main source of food for other animals such as lizards and birds who are struggling to find sources of food with the heat.
Even though the mosquito is probably the most universally despised insect, both for its pesky and disease-carrying qualities, the lack of them is a sign of how our ecosystem is degenerating due to global warming. As much as you might hate them, mosquitoes play an essential role in our natural biosphere and the fact that there are fewer of them spells bad news for the current climate situation.
Have you noticed fewer mosquitos?