What is the primary cause of multiplicative increases in mosquitos and mosquito-borne illnesses in the U.S. over the past 50 years?
For a recent paper in the journal Nature Communications, scientists analyzed decades of data on mosquito populations on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. compared to temperature, urbanization, and DDT use. They found that banning DDT was the primary factor driving mosquito populations, urbanization was also a significant factor, and temperature had little-to-no effect. Mosquito populations and mosquito-borne illnesses have increased dramatically in the U.S. over the past 5 decades. Many environmental organizations have blamed these trends on global warming while ignoring the impact of DDT and land use.