Mosquitoes to Join 4th of July Celebrations
When it comes to mosquitoes, this year is proving to be especially pesky thanks to our long, cool spring. The insects are aplenty after breeding through weeks of heavy rainfall.
"We've got 50 different species of mosquitoes in Minnesota, all of them kind of compressed together and started to come out at the same time. And we've got a few areas in the Metro where we've got quite a few adult mosquitoes out there," said Jim Stark, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.
The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has treated more than 120,000 acres trying to keep immature mosquitoes from hatching.
"To be perfectly frank, we got a little overwhelmed with all of the rainfall. At my house I had 6 inches of rain, both in May and June, so a lot of mosquito production, a lot of work to try to control mosquitoes," Stark said.
University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist Jeff Hahn says mosquitoes are more common during the early morning and evening. Long sleeves and pants along with a spray repellent like DEET can be your best protection. Citronella candles and bug zappers may not work as well.
"As far as the bug zappers, that will kill insects. How many mosquitoes it kills is actually a really small percentage. And there was some research done some years ago that actually showed it actually probably does more harm by killing beneficial insects and just benign insects, than it does actually biting insects," Hahn said.
Experts recommend emptying any small pools of water around your home to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
"Us Minnesotans have been indoors for far too long this winter and spring and so people should get out and enjoy the summer, enjoy the weather, just take the proper precautions," Hahn said.
On Wednesday, a sample of mosquitoes tested positive for the West Nile virus in Carver County.