United States

Mosquito Surge Hits Texas, Officials Cite Climate Change

Conroe, Texas, is experiencing a surge in mosquito populations, which residents and officials attribute to climate change. Heavy rains have created ideal breeding conditions for the pests, making this spring particularly difficult

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This spring, residents of Conroe, a suburb of Houston, are facing an unprecedented surge in mosquito populations. Local officials and residents alike are pointing to climate change as the driving force behind the swarms.

"If you open the car door to go somewhere, you’ve got 10 mosquitoes inside," said Mith Varley, a longtime resident of Montgomery County, in a report by the Washington Post. Having lived in the area for nearly 10 years, Varley said he has never seen the mosquito problem this bad.

Montgomery County has always been a prime habitat for mosquitoes, but recent heavy rains have created perfect breeding conditions for the pests. This has resulted in an explosion of the mosquito population, making life difficult for residents.

Linda Adams, another local resident, shared her frustration with the Washington Post. "They are attracted to me. No one else gets mosquitoes like me," Adams said. She noted that she never leaves her house without applying bug spray, which she considers essential. "It has to be at least 40 percent DEET," she added.

Josue Medina, a tennis instructor in the area, echoed these concerns, mentioning that this year’s mosquitoes are not only more numerous but also larger. "The mosquito season is always bad, but right now it’s worse," Medina remarked.

Max Vigilant, the director of mosquito and vector control in nearby Harris County, reported that mosquito levels this year are similar to those in 2022 and 2023. However, he acknowledged the difficulty in fully counting the mosquito population. Vigilant suggested that the noticeable increase in mosquitoes could be attributed to climate change. "Hotter temperatures are coming to the area earlier in the year, making it more likely to see a large amount of mosquitoes," he said.

Harris County, which includes Conroe, is home to over 50 species of mosquitoes. The county’s public health department, where Vigilant works, focuses on using pesticides to target mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus.

As the mosquito problem persists, residents continue to struggle with their daily activities. Medina pointed to a large red welt on his knee, saying, "This one got me yesterday."