LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – Mosquitos are the blood-sucking beasts, the size of a rice grain, that we all know and love to hate! Every year, the insects cause havoc across the Borderland during the monsoon, but this year’s monsoon has had a slow start, with limited stormy days in June and July. Fortunately, the past month has been much wetter, with Las Cruces and El Paso seeing an increase in rainfall amounts.
With an increase in rainfall, we must expect an increase in mosquito populations, and that’s why Immo Hansen, Professor of Biology at NMSU is predicting the peak of this year’s mosquito season is approaching. Professor Hansen is an expert on mosquitoes and is researching what essential oils are the best mosquito repellents.
Last year, Professor Hansen said the first Yellow Fever Mosquitos, or aedes aegypti in Latin were seen in March in Las Cruces. This year, there’s been a delay, and while that’s been good for our summer vacations, it’s bad news for the start of the school year.
Standing water is a breeding ground of mosquitoes. With the last week seeing rain and high humidities across the Borderland, we can expect the mosquitos have been multiplying and will soon be biting all of us.
Professor Hansen recommended making sure you have screen doors and windows to prevent the mosquitoes from coming into your home. To avoid breeding grounds in your own backyard, empty all standing buckets of water you may have, and if you have a water feature, buy some mosquito-eating fish and put them in your lake, pond, etc.
For your skin, any bug spray with Deet is effective as well as certain essential oils. Professor Hansen said the oil of lemon eucalyptus works really well.