TIDES AND MOSQUITO ACTIVITY
You may sometimes find yourself wondering why there seems to be an influx of mosquitoes into your yard, or notice certain days that you are getting a lot more bites than usual.
Generally speaking, mosquito activity in coastal bound areas rise and fall with tide and rain events.
Why? It all has to do with mosquito eggs! Mosquitoes lay thousands of eggs either on damp soil in areas where the eggs will most likely be submerged in pooled still water or small floating egg ‘rafts’ on top of pooled water. When the conditions are right or the eggs are completely submerged, it allows the mosquito larvae to hatch out into the water and develop into the blood sucking pest which is the adult mosquito.
The spots which mosquitoes favour to lay their eggs are places that are consistently inundated with either salt or fresh water, if the water has no way of escaping, it creates a pooling stagnated effect and a perfect environment for the mosquito larvae to develop.
A perfect example of a mosquito breeding area is a mangrove swamp or wetland. On any given day you will see pools of smelly salt water on mud flats and under mangrove trees at low tide, however these pools of water are quickly swallowed up again on the next high tide. These pools rarely dry out and will not breed mosquitoes. However, further away from the waters edge are areas that are only inundated with water in the event of a ‘king tide’. King tides happen generally once per month, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the moon. Once a king tide has encroached these areas and subsided, the water will not be flushed out by the next high tide as it will not reach this point again until the next king tide. This creates pooling of water and providing the adult mosquitoes have laid eggs in this area the mosquito eggs will hatch and develop into adult mosquitoes which then take to the air looking for a blood meal.
It is not only a tide that can trigger a breeding cycle,. A significant rain event can also make the mosquito population boom in just the same way is a king tide does, but with fresh water. Rain effects freshwater breeding areas also, such as low lying grassed areas and puddles around your local neighbourhood and not to mention container breeding mosquitoes which lay eggs in everyday objects such buckets and old tyres which then fill with rain water and act as nurseries for larvae to develop into adult mosquitoes.