Houston’s mosquito population might actually be getting lower. That’s according to a study from Climate Central, a nonprofit research group that focuses and reports on climate change.
The report showed that Houston has seen an average of 20 fewer mosquito days. According to the analysis, in 1979 Houston had 240 mosquito days. In 2022, it saw 182 mosquito days — a decrease of 58 days.
“Mosquito days” are days ideal for the bugs to thrive in: warm, humid weather. According to the study, mosquitos prefer climates that have an average relative humidity of 42% or higher and daily minimum and maximum temperatures between 50–95°F.
Shannon LaDeau is senior scientist with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. She said less mosquitoes due to weather change is actually a great concern.
“The change in extreme heat will certainly be a greater risk to people than is relieved by any reduced exposure to mosquitoes,” she said.
The nonprofit assessed mosquito weather trends from 1979 to 2022 in 242 U.S. locations, including Houston.
The report found that most of the locations that experienced a decrease in mosquito days since 1979 are in the southern U.S., where summer temperatures frequently exceed the upper range that is suitable for mosquito conditions in the analysis.