Warm, wet spring brings with it a plague of mosquitoes

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The hot spring and the heavy rains of recent weeks mean mosquitoes have been hatching earlier than normal, according to researchers at Wageningen University.

The first generation of new mosquitoes usually get to work around the end of June, but the warm weather meant they were already biting at the end of May. Now the second generation is about to emerge, says Arnold van Vliet of the university’s mosquito radar website Muggenrader.nl.

It normally takes 28 days for a mosquito to grow from egg to fully-flown, but high temperatures speed up the process, Van Vliet said, adding that the early start to the mosquito season means we could be faced with two extra generations this summer.

The problem would be solved by a long period with no rain so that the breeding pools dry up, he said. In the meantime, people with gardens should empty pots of water and check for larvae every two weeks.

‘That makes an enormous difference when you consider that a liter of water can be home to a couple of hundred mosquito larvae,’ he told broadcaster NOS.