Climate change may allow mosquitoes, rodents to proliferate

From The MetroWest Daily News
November 11, 2019

BOSTON — With the leaves falling, the first frost behind us, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting a mild, but wet winter for the Northeast, citizens across Massachusetts are likely looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, and a break from mosquito bites and ticks.

But, the question of how pest populations will respond to climate change in Massachusetts, and around the world, lingers.

Pests have been a longstanding issue for the commonwealth. This summer and fall, mosquitoes were particularly troublesome, with 12 human cases of the mosquito-transmitted eastern equine encephalitis virus.

While it is impossible to determine exactly why Massachusetts experienced such a large EEE outbreak this year, climate-related factors, including substantial rainfall and warmer temperatures last fall and winter, may have played a role, according to Todd Duval, an entomologist with the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project.

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