Mosquito season kicks off a few weeks early in Germany

Mosquito season kicks off a few weeks early in Germany

With the warm weather creating ideal breeding conditions, mosquito season is starting a few weeks earlier than usual in Germany, begging the question: Are we heading for a particularly bad year? 

Mosquito season kicks off earlier than usual in Germany

A number of mosquito species are already active in Germany, Doreen Werner of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) told dpa. The majority of forest and meadow mosquitoes, as well as the common house mosquitoes, have emerged at least two weeks earlier than usual. The bloodsucking critters’ year has gotten off to a good start thanks to the warm and wet weather, which creates ideal conditions for breeding. 

Germany is home to around 50 of the 3.600 known species of mosquitoes. Five invasive species have also been detected in the federal republic since 2004, and some of them have since become native, including the Asian tiger mosquito, Asian bush mosquito and Korean bush mosquito. Mosquitos in Germany rarely carry pathogens, but in recent years there have been a few cases of people becoming infected with the Usutu virus and the West Nile virus

Since 2012, people in Germany have been encouraged to participate in the creation of a so-called Mosquito Atlas, which helps map the species that are common in the federal republic. Over the past 10 years, more than 250.000 participants have caught and frozen more than 120.000 mosquitos and sent them in for research. 

Will this year be particularly bad for mosquitoes?

If you’ve already suffered a few bites and are wondering whether we’re in for a bad summer, Werner explained that it’s too early to tell yet whether this year will see more mosquitoes than usual. “I can’t look into the crystal ball,” she said, adding that it’s all so dependent on the weather and temperature that long-term predictions are tricky. “Mosquitoes like it moist and warm, and when one of these components breaks down, it makes it harder for mosquitoes to breed.” 

For instance, if a mosquito can’t find somewhere wet to lay her eggs, she will fly around pregnant for weeks. If the temperature doesn’t rise sufficiently, the eggs will then take longer to hatch. These factors both limit the growth of mosquito populations. 

Since mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, you can do your bit to help control the population by getting rid of water pools in your garden, for instance by covering water barrels and ensuring water does not collect in buckets or pots - even a flower pot tray could provide an ideal breeding ground. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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