City breeds ideal climate for virus-carrying pests

May 31, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Tom Beal, Arizona Daily Star] – Even if our climate gets drier in the future, a warming planet will bring more disease-bearing mosquitoes to the urban areas of the Southwest.  Mosquitoes will be active earlier in the spring and later in the fall, will reproduce at higher rates and spread West Nile virus and a new threat — dengue fever — say climate-change researchers. The two species thrive in urban settings — breeding in overwatered flowerpots, leaking irrigation lines and old tires. That is why researchers say the populations of the two mosquitoes will grow as temperatures increase, even if our rainfall lessens in severity and frequency. We continue to create the ideal climate for them.
It’s not time to panic, say the University of Arizona researchers and area health professionals, but it is time to learn more about our enemies and to redouble our efforts at making our city unwelcome for the well-established populations of two mosquitoes that can carry sometimes fatal diseases.
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