AUSTIN (KXAN) — With recent heavy rain and warming spring temperatures over the past week, there has been a noticeable jump in the amount of mosquito activity in and around Central Texas.

But a new analysis from our partners over at Climate Central show some surprising results for Central Texas. The duration of our ‘mosquito season’ here in Austin, Texas is (on average) actually shortening, not increasing.

What’s to blame for a shortening ‘mosquito season’? Extreme heat.

Central Texas is simply becoming too hot during our summer months. According to Climate Central, “Most of the 61 locations that experienced a decrease in mosquito days since 1979 are in the South, where summer temperatures may frequently exceed the upper range (95°F) for suitable mosquito conditions in this analysis”.

Mosquitos love climates that are warm and humid. You may notice more mosquito activity in your neighborhood when temperatures are close to 80°F (especially after a recent rain). This is the sweet spot for them. However, they become more lethargic when temperatures fall closer to 60°F and become inactive when temperatures dip below 50°F.

How Climate Central did their analysis

Climate Central looked at 43 years of climate data for 242 locations all across the United States. They then qualified or designated an active ‘mosquito day’ as a day that had an average relative humidity of 42% or higher AND daily high and low temperatures that did not get below 50°F or above 95°F (Prime conditions for mosquitos).

What they found was as temperatures warm on average across the country, as a result of climate change, the vast majority of these locations’ climates are becoming more and more suitable for mosquitos to thrive.

Out of the 242 locations assessed by Climate Central, 173 of them saw an increase in their annual active ‘mosquito day’. That is equal to 71% of the cities experiencing a jump.

Austin however, was one of the minority (29%) cities that instead experienced a DECREASE in annual active mosquito day’s.

While this news may be good for us locally, the vast majority of the country is still experiencing more and more days of mosquito activity each passing year. This is problematic especially because now disease-carrying mosquitos will increasingly have a longer window of opportunity to bite and spread to a wider range of people.