Warm winter, wet springs leads to mosquito population boom

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind -- Marion County is experiencing a mosquito population boom.

Matt Sinsko, coordinator for the Marion County Mosquito Control program, says unlike previous years, collections for mosquitoes during the past two months have yielded off the chart numbers.

“And we’ll probably see another emergence of mosquitoes here in a week or two weeks. Just kind of depends on how hot it is too that always plays a big role in the mosquito cycle as well,” Sinsko said.

In a nine week collection period the health department collected roughly 27,479 adult female mosquitoes. The “normal” collection amount during that same period is about 6,258 female mosquitoes. A 339% difference.

“And we’ll probably see another emergence of mosquitoes here in a week or two weeks. Just kind of depends on how hot it is too, that always plays a big role in the mosquito cycle as well,” Sinsko said.

Sinsko says the high amount of mosquitoes is likely the result of a warm winter and a wet spring.

However, Sinsko adds that just because Marion County is experiencing a mosquito population boom, doesn’t mean people should be overly concerned with contracting mosquito borne illness like West Nile Virus.

Sinsko says typically the time experts see West Nile emerge is later in the summer, and so far no sign of the virus has been found in Marion County.

“There’s always a risk, we know it comes every year. We’ve seen it every year since 2002 in every township,” he said.

Sinsko adds that the only way to guarantee you don’t contract any mosquito borne illness is by not getting bitten at all. He says anyone can significantly reduce the odds by being bitten by following four simple tips:

  1. Using insect repellent with deet.
  2. Staying indoors as much as possible. Particularly between dusk and dawn.
  3. Wearing long sleeves and pants.
  4. Clearing out/avoiding standing water, which is breeding ground for mosquito larvae.