Study reveals unexpected causes of mosquito population growth
Researchers determined that while climate change does play a part in the rise of mosquito populations, other factors played the most influential role.
Mosquito populations in the U.S. have grown significantly over the last few decades, in some places by as much as ten times previous numbers. The increase in mosquitoes raises concern that diseases like the Zika virus could spread further into northern regions.
A new study published in Nature Communications examined mosquito populations in California, New York and New Jersey. While climate change does play a part, researchers determined that urbanization and the decline of the now banned insecticide, DDT played the most influential roles, contrary to prior thought. It turns out that some kinds of mosquitoes, including the ones that commonly spread disease, have become experts at adapting to human created habitat.
Take Two's A Martinez spoke with one the study's coauthors, Marm Kilpatrick. He's an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
To hear the full interview, click on the Blue Arrow above.