Jun 6, 2022 - Things to Do

How to beat D.C. mosquito season

A close-up of a mosquito

Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images

They’re back. The bane of D.C. summer. And this year, the warmer weather gave the bloodsuckers a head start.

What's the buzz? Mosquito season usually begins in April, but warmer temperatures allowed the bugs to start breeding in March, Floyd Shockley, collections manager in the entomology department at the National Museum of Natural History, tells Axios.

  • So you may get eaten up more than you normally would.

Great. What to do?

Go to war, like our Axios Atlanta colleague Thomas Wheatley. He drills holes in buckets, drops in grass clippings and a product called Mosquito Dunk, adds water…and waits. The theory: Mosquitoes will be drawn to the water, lay their eggs, and die in the Dunk.

  • “Yes, you’re wiping out a generation of mosquitoes,” says Wheatley. He has no guilt.

Or do way less work, and just get rid of the standing water in your yard (flower pots, clogged gutters, bird baths).

  • This is Shockley’s method.

Lastly, maybe just live and let Mother Nature live. Mosquitoes are foundational in freshwater ecosystems, says Shockley. They’re food for amphibians, fish, and bats.

The big picture: Only 6% of the 3,500 species out there feast on humans. And the chances of getting a disease from a mosquito is fairly low, Shockley says.

Above all, know this: If the summer weather stays dry, the mosquito population will wither in the heat, Shockley says. There is hope.


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