Updated, 9:38 a.m.
Good morning on this balmy Wednesday.
One downside of warmer days: They are waking the mosquitoes.
As the city heats up, mosquito larvae hatch from eggs and grow into the adults that you’ll increasingly see, and feel, as you spend time in parks, gardens and playgrounds.
To better understand these tiny bloodsuckers and how to cope with them, we spoke with Laura Harrington, a professor of entomology at Cornell University and a mosquito expert.
When is mosquito season?
Depending on the weather, mosquito season in the city lasts roughly from the end of April into October, but as climate change lengthens the city’s warm season, New Yorkers will have to put up with them for more of the year, Professor Harrington said.
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What types of mosquitoes live in New York?
Of the 60 species of mosquito in the area, only a handful bite humans. One is a type of Culex mosquito, known as the northern house mosquito, which primarily bites at dusk or dawn. If you’re being bitten now, the Culex is probably the culprit.
Another dangerous species is the Asian tiger mosquito. It’s a much more aggressive mosquito and will feed on people during the day. Last year, the Asian tiger mosquito peaked in the city around mid-to-late July, Professor Harrington said.
The Asian tiger mosquito sounds nasty.
“It is,” Professor Harrington said. It feeds on animals but, she added, it “really likes human blood. That combined with a painful, persistent bite makes it a real nuisance.” It is also a potential carrier of the Zika virus.
Should I be concerned about Zika?
In New York City, we have had no evidence of mosquito-transmitted Zika, although last year more than 1,000 New York State residents contracted the illness outside the state, Professor Harrington said. There is a risk, although it is very low, of contracting Zika in the city, she said, because the Asian tiger mosquito could pick up the virus and transmit it to people.
Are some people more apt to be bitten by mosquitoes than others?
Yes, she said, adding that scientists aren’t sure why. What they do know is that each person has a unique “odor profile,” and mosquitoes find some profiles more attractive than others. There’s no evidence that blood type or skin color plays a role in how much you are bitten, but research has shown that ingesting one particular substance — alcohol — does attract mosquitoes.
How can I prevent bites?
There are two effective repellents: DEET and Picaridin. Professor Harrington said that citronella did little to keep mosquitoes at bay. If you want to sit outside, run a fan on your feet and legs. “Mosquitoes are very weak fliers and so they can’t approach the host and feed in the wind that a fan would create,” she said.
How can I ease a bite?
“A calamine solution and anti-itch cream are your best bet.”
Here’s what else is happening:
Another cloudy, gloomy day ahead — with showers and thunderstorms possible, and a high around 73.
Power through: A streak of radiant weather awaits us, beginning tomorrow.
In the News
• The number of street stops made by city police officers has plunged since 2011, a report says. [New York Times]
• Amtrak riders will share the hardships of New York City commuters this summer, while Pennsylvania Station undergoes disruptive repairs. [New York Times]
• Remembering Remington J. Peters, the 27-year-old Navy parachutist who died at a Fleet Week event after his chute did not open properly. [New York Times]
• Mixed reactions as Mayor Bill de Blasio named a city street in honor of Jimmy Breslin, the muckraking journalist who died in March. [New York Times]
• Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont spoke at the Brooklyn College commencement ceremony. [Bklyner]
• An artist installed a “Pissing Pug” statue at the feet of the “Fearless Girl” in Lower Manhattan. The pug has been removed. [Gothamist]
• Fifty years later, commemorating the Grateful Dead’s first East Coast show, on June 1, 1967, in Tompkins Square Park. [E.V. Grieve]
• Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “Getting Used to New Surroundings”
• Scoreboard: Sparks fly at Liberty, 90-75. Yankees overcome Orioles, 8-3. Mets muzzle Brewers, 5-4.
• For a global look at what’s happening, see Your Wednesday Briefing.
Coming Up Today
• Wrap up the workday with a disco dance lesson and party at Bryant Park in Midtown. 6 p.m. [Free]
• A performance of “The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case,” a play about the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg based on the book by The Times’s Sam Roberts, at the Mid-Manhattan Library in Midtown. 6:30 p.m. [Free]
• Adam Platt, restaurant critic at New York Magazine, and Alan Sytsma, food editor at Grub Street, talk about food trends and the future of food, at Story in Chelsea. 6:30 p.m. [Free]
• Do sunset yoga overlooking the Hudson River, on Abby’s Lawn in Fort Tryon Park in Inwood. 6:45 p.m. [Free]
• The Australian sketch comedy group Aunty Donna performs at the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn. 8 p.m. [$30]
• Yankees at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (WPIX). Mets host Brewers 7:10 p.m. (SNY). New York City F.C. host New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (YES).
• For more events, see The New York Times’s Arts & Entertainment guide.
• Alternate-side parking rules are suspended Wednesday and Thursday for Shavuot.
Mosquitoes aren’t the only disease-spreading bugs we need to worry about during the warmer months — three types of ticks also call our city’s green spaces home.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid them, and what to do when bitten:
• Ticks are found in tall grass, shrubs or wooded areas like Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, High Rock Park on Staten Island and Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. When exploring our parks, stick to trails or areas with short grass if possible.
• When entering a tick habitat, wear shoes, a hat and a long-sleeve shirt, and tuck your pants into your socks. Wearing light-colored clothing can make it easier to spot them.
• Put on gloves while gardening. Ticks usually live under leaf litter or dirt.
• Use DEET on your body and permethrin products on your clothes.
• Do a tick check and shower after you come indoors.
• If a tick attaches to your skin, remove it with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
• Ticks don’t suck just human blood; here’s how to help keep your pet tick-free next time it strays from the trail.
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