Mosquitos in the Rain
Mosquitos Surviving Various Weather Conditions
In 2019, a stunning discovery was made by a group of researchers in Africa. Previously, it was believed that mosquitos had a total lifetime travel range of roughly 3 miles, but this new study revealed that this was far from the truth. In fact, mosquitos were found to have the ability to travel hundreds of miles in battering high-altitude winds. “We conclude that, similar to other high-altitude migrating insects, mosquitos are able to withstand extended high-altitude flight,” the researchers explained.
After discovering the fact that mosquitos can actually survive such tumultuous weather conditions, scientists also looked into the relationships between mosquitos and rain.
How Mosquitos Can Fly in Rain
Surprisingly, the anatomy of the anatomy of mosquitos actually makes them somewhat protected against the impact of raindrops. Their strong exoskeleton in conjunction with such a miniscule mask manages to disperse and reduce the overall force of each falling raindrop. The drops loose next to no momentum when they encounter the body of a mosquito, resulting in very little force being exerted on the mosquito itself.
In addition to this natural defense of their anatomy, mosquitos tend to actually move with raindrops, further reducing any ill-effects on themselves. The head of a study on this phenomenon, engineer David Hu of Georgia tech, explained that, “as the raindrop falls, rather than resisting the raindrop, they basically join together kind of like a stowaway. So, as a result they get very, very little force.” Just moments after the impact of the drops, the mosquitos would spread their wings, using them like parachutes catching the wind in order to easily escape the water.
This amazing ability explains why these nasty pests seem to find us even on the rainiest of days.
What Does this Mean for Us?
These insights into the movements of mosquitos yield both valuable data and a cautionary tale for the world as a whole. Due to their abilities to traverse even highly turbulent weather, these nasty vectors of disease are becoming more of a threat and, as such, mosquito control is becoming more and more important. Ecologist and specialist in vector biology, Tovi Lehmann, Ph.D. of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also commented on the implications, stating that, “changing our mosquito dispersal paradigm as it relates to the rapid and long-range spread of vector-borne infections… [is crucial to] allow us to up our ability to predict outcomes and mitigate them more successfully.”
We want to make sure you and your family are safe, which is why we offer specialized mosquito abatement treatments throughout the summer months. Call us anytime if you want more information on these services and how we will work to keep you safe and mosquito-free!
Ricciuti, E. (2020) Study Shows Mosquitos Can Still Spread Malaria After Long-Distance Flights, Entomology Today. The Entomological Society of America. Available at: https://entomologytoday.org/2020/08/12/anopheles-mosquitoes-malaria-long-distance-flights/ (Accessed: December 2020).
Stromberg, J. (2012) How Do Mosquitoes Fly in the Rain?, Smithsonian Magazine. The Smithsonian Institution. Available at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-do-mosquitoes-fly-in-the-rain-116626497/ (Accessed: February 17, 2021).