Updated: May 04, 2021 07:28 PM
Created: May 04, 2021 07:25 PM
Minnesota may see a milder than normal spring season for mosquitoes and other pesky insects, according to the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.
"If we see a dry spring with cooler temperatures, that's going to be lower mosquitoes for the beginning of the season," said Alex Carlson, public affairs coordinator at MMCD.
Carlson said mosquito season typically runs from mid-May through September in Minnesota.
The MMCD started doing its seasonal surveillance for adult mosquitoes this week. Field crews will set 200 traps around the Twin Cities, which will then be returned to their lab for testing and analysis.
"So far, things are looking pretty good. The temperatures have stayed pretty mild and when the water temperature is a little cooler, " he said. "It takes a little while for the larva to develop, that means we're not seeing as many adults emerging yet."
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS joined mosquito technician Jennifer Kanz as she surveyed a pond in White Bear Lake for mosquitoes.
"I previously found them in here a few weeks ago and they haven't reestablished since," Kanz said.
Kanz also performed sweeps along a woodline for biting gnats, a particularly aggressive black fly species that caused discomfort for many Minnesotans last summer.
"We got all these pictures people were sending us in of little kids with the backs of their necks all bitten up," Carlson said. "It's not a new species but it's one we don't usually see very high numbers of, so last year was kind of an anomaly. All of a sudden, they came out in full force."
Carlson said MMCD did not have a permit to treat local waterways for biting gnats last year but they have secured a permit for this season, so Minnesotans should see relief in the coming weeks.
"We've been treating for those actively in rivers and streams, where they're likely to emerge so hopefully, it's a little early to say for sure, but hopefully we're going to see fewer of those out this year," Carlson said.
Metropolitan Mosquito Control urges the public to use its new online tip form to report mosquito, black fly and tick activity.
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