DETROIT (WWJ) – Warmer weather is on the way, and with it — swarms of mosquitoes.
Michigan State University entomologist Howard Russell tells WWJ’s Sandra McNeill it is expected to be a “horrible” spring for mosquitoes in Michigan.
He blames a lot of rain and standing water for the breeding of a large crop, which will appear in May. “We actually saw some hatching of mosquito eggs in February, but as low-lying areas fill with water — either due to spring rain or snow melt — the eggs hatch and then larvae develop in these temporary pools of water,” Russell said.
To avoid getting eaten alive, Russell recommends wearing loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants and avoiding highly infested areas.
“But if you’re in an area at the right time, you know, if it’s 75 degrees, the wind is calm in the evening and you’re in an area where there’s lots of breeding areas for mosquitoes, I mean…there’s not much you can do other than (wear repellent with) DEET.”
Once the spring mosquitoes are gone in June, then we won’t see those species until the following year, Russell explained. It’s unclear just yet how bad the mosquitoes will be in the summer.
“Summer mosquitoes will produce generation after generation as long as there’s standing water available. The number of summer mosquitoes we see will depend solely on how much rain we get through the summer months,” he said.
Russell admits it seems mosquitoes do bite some people more than others, but says scientists aren’t sure why.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends use of insect repellents containing active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including DEET as well as Picaridin. Always follow manufacturer’s directions carefully, especially when using on children.
Also, maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes outside and eliminate standing water in your yard. Empty water from mosquito breeding sites, such as flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, discarded tires, buckets, barrels, cans, and similar items in which mosquitoes can lay eggs. [More from the CDC].