Surge in mosquito nuisance linked to late summer heatwave, experts say
The nuisance posed by mosquitoes in the Netherlands has increased sharply since mid-August, according to researchers at Wageningen University, de Telegraaf reported on Tuesday.
"Compared to the late summer period three years ago, this increase is clearly visible," remarked insect expert Sander Koenraadt from Muggenradar.nl. This platform provides online updates on expected mosquito activity in the coming days.
To feed data into the platform, hundreds of volunteers have been reporting weekly since 2020, detailing their encounters with mosquitoes and how much they have been bothered by them.
"A few years ago, this group reported very little nuisance during this time, but now the reports are significantly higher," noted biologist Arnold van Vliet, who analyses the weekly participant reports.
Both experts attribute the surge to the unusually high temperatures experienced this late summer. Mosquitoes tend to become more active as temperatures rise, leading to increased larval development. Given the extended duration of the heatwave, the mosquito population is expected to grow even further in the coming weeks.
The heavy rainfall in July and August created plentiful breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. "All these larvae have hatched and matured simultaneously," Koenraadt explained. "Now they are all seeking blood."
He noted that the disturbance from mosquitoes and wasps in the Netherlands was lower at the beginning of the summer due to sparse rainfall in May and early June.
Despite his long-standing professional interest and personal passion for studying mosquitoes, Koenraadt admitted to the newspaper that he kills them when they disturb his sleep. "Love goes a long way, but not that far. When you're in bed, the main thing you want is to sleep," he said.