Mosquitos increasing in the UK but global warming not blamed – yet

This is a very mildly interesting story from the BBC.

I read every word and realised that I continued reading long after it had ceased to be interesting only because I was waiting for the punch line that it “was all due to global warming”.

It never came.

But it will.

Based on a survey of UK local authorities, reports of mosquito bites over the last 10 years are 2.5 times greater than in the 10 years up to 1996. NHS Direct statistics show 9,061 calls in England complaining of bites and stings from early May this year to now – up nearly 15% from last summer. Not all bite complaints are due to mosquitoes – many can be attributed to bedbugs, midges and fleas.

But conditions in the UK, particularly in southeastern England, are increasingly hospitable to mosquitoes.

“The wet weather through May and June this year, along with a warm summer, has affected the population because mosquitoes like the standing breeding water,” says zoologist Michael Bonsall at Oxford University. …. 

But once upon a time, malaria-carrying mosquitoes could be found in the salt marshes of southeastern England. It is believed that malaria – literally “bad air” – dates back at least to Roman times in the UK, and outbreaks occurred as recently as the years just following World War I.

British doctor Ronald Ross, who discovered the malarial parasite living in the gastrointestinal tract of the Anopheles mosquito in the 19th Century, recruited teams to eliminate the larvae from stagnant pools and marshes. … 

Malaria in England had effectively died out by the 1950s, mostly due to the draining of much of the marshland where mosquitoes bred. But because of the growth of global travel, the number of imported cases of the disease in the UK has risen, with nearly 2,000 a year today.

Go to BBC article 

 

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