Drought spawning ‘super mosquitoes’

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the Central Texas drought continues, you might think that would mean fewer mosquitoes — and that you might not get bitten.

But as it turns out, that’s not the case.

The ones buzzing around this year are more aggressive than in past seasons, leading some to call them “super mosquitoes.”

Chelsea Bohrer’s 2-year-old, Eisley, and her friends enjoy playing in their sandbox. They squeeze in every moment they can before dusk, but some not-so-friendly visitors crashed their playdate.

“They seem to be more aggressive. My neighbor and I joke that they’ve mutated because nothing that we put on the babes seems to be working,” Bohrer jokes.

But, it’s no joke.

Researchers at the University of North Texas say this season’s mosquitoes are bigger and badder, and it’s because of the drought.

In order to endure the dry conditions, the bloodsuckers have evolved by living longer, flying farther and biting more aggressively.

“The number [of mosquitoes] may be down or lower than other years. However, the mosquitoes are actually more active, more strong,” explained Dr. Joon Lee, a medical entomologist.

And scientists predict that with warmer temperatures this season — compared to those in the past — the chances of more West Nile Virus cases could be higher. So your best bet is to slather on the bug spray.

Though, Bohrer isn’t convinced even the most powerful ones can keep the super mosquito away.

“Nothing seems to be helping, so we just kind of have to brace ourselves and bear it for the summer,” she said.

Researchers say they will now perform tests for any similar trends when it comes to mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus.

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