Mosquitoes Have Wreaked Havoc on This U.S. City for the Last 3 Weeks

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: May 21, 2024

In the past three weeks, parts of Texas have had to deal with storm after storm. Perhaps no city has been as hard hit with rain as Houston in these three weeks.

Now, as a result of these severe storms, Houston has yet another problem to deal with: mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have begun to wreak havoc on Houston residents in this short amount of time.

Houston’s Weeks of Rain

Just this last week, Houston was dealt another incredibly strong storm. This latest storm downed many trees throughout the area, as well as power lines.

A close-up of a rain puddle on a street.

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Unfortunately, this led to more than 900,000 Houston people being left without power for the time being. Because this storm is simply the latest rain in three long weeks of similar rainy days, Houston has had overflowing rivers and newly formed puddles.

The Arrival of More Mosquitoes

Though mosquitoes have always been prevalent in Houston, the city is now swarming with them thanks to its most recent rainfalls.

A close-up of a mosquito on a white surface.

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Mosquitoes thrive in warm temperatures that also have heavy rain. These insects lay their eggs in standing water. Thanks to all the rain that Houston has seen, this has allowed mosquitoes to quickly lay their eggs in everything from lakes to puddles.

Only a Small Amount of Water Is Needed

To successfully breed and lay eggs, mosquitoes don’t need a ton of water as some people may think.

A black and white image of rain falling on a puddle.

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Instead, these insects only need a small amount of standing water. Even an area as small as a bottle cap will do — as long as there is water there.

Houston Is Full of Mosquitoes Now

As a result of their breeding habits, mosquitoes are now taking over Houston. It doesn’t help that these insects can lay anywhere from 50 to 200 eggs at once.

The Houston skyline seen in the daytime underneath a clear blue sky.

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Plus, it only takes about 10 days for a mosquito egg to grow into an adult insect. Therefore, these past few weeks of rainy weather seen in Houston are to blame for all of the insects flying through the city now.

An Ongoing Problem

The past few years in Houston have experienced similar mosquito outbreaks right around this time. The city’s ongoing flooding problem during particularly bad storms has also helped mosquitoes thrive.

A close-up of a mosquito on a white surface.

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However, many residents in the city, as well as pest control experts, believe that 2024 may have the worst mosquito activity thus far.


The Last Bad Few Years

2022 and 2023 also saw a huge swarm of mosquitoes take over Houston. Currently, some experts have claimed that the mosquito levels seen today are comparable to what was seen in these past two years.

Many people sitting on grass in front of the Houston skyline in the daytime.

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However, other experts in the area believe that the insects’ activity is much worse than what they’ve ever seen — and feel that it will only get worse as they get into summer.


How Residents Are Dealing

Residents in Houston have grown frustrated with the mass amounts of mosquitoes they’ve had to deal with recently.

Water and green trees seen in front of downtown Houston and tall buildings.

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Many have stated that they have to fight off 10 to 15 mosquitoes just walking from their front door to their car.


Catching Mosquitoes

To try to help residents throughout the city, Harris County health officials have begun to track mosquitoes and then trap them every week.

A close-up of a mosquito on a person’s skin.

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In April alone, the county caught more than 72,000 female mosquitoes — the mosquitoes that can lay hundreds of eggs at once. This capturing is about twice as many as was caught last year in April.


Climate Change To Blame?

Some health officials in Houston have already pointed to climate change exacerbating the issue. Max Vigilant, the director of mosquito and vector control in Harris County, explained that mosquitoes come out earlier than normal thanks to hotter temperatures.

A close-up of a black and white mosquito.

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“This is the impact that climate change has had on Harris Country,” Vigilant stated.


More Mosquitoes in the Future

Scientists have long theorized that climate change could make mosquitoes proliferate in areas such as Houston, especially if the world gets much warmer and wetter.

A close-up of a brown mosquito on a blue knit surface.

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These types of areas allow mosquitoes to lay their hundreds of eggs and thrive. Science has also revealed that higher temperatures even make these insects hungrier for human blood — which, in turn, allows them to spread their territory in their search for humans.


Fighting Viruses

Mosquitoes have been known to carry dangerous diseases, which is yet another reason why Harris County health officials are trying to fight back against this recent swarming. Sonja Swiger, an entomologist at Texas A&M, explained that while there has been no detection of any viruses in mosquitoes in the area, it remains an issue.

An aerial view of downtown Houston, Texas seen in the daytime.

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“Our most important one is West Nile virus,” Swiger said. “We do have to worry about that every year.”