LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Experts say wet weather this summer has led to a booming mosquito population in parts of Michigan — and it could be the worst we’ve seen in years.

Linda Vail, Ingham County’s health officer, says it’s been one of the area’s biggest years for mosquitoes.

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Howard Russell, an entomologist for Michigan State University’s Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences Department, told the Lansing State Journal that a dry March and April virtually eliminated spring mosquitoes. However, summer mosquitoes have benefited from recent heavy rains.

Russell says the new batch has been “pretty awful.”

“There are a few species that we have that produce a generation every seven days or so if it stays above 80 (degrees),” he said. “So they’re really bad now.”

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Health experts urge residents to apply repellents during peak mosquito biting periods, such as dusk and dawn, and to drain standing water around their homes to remove mosquito breeding sites. Mosquito repellent products also are recommended.

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When applying insect repellents, it’s important to keep the following guidelines in mind:

• Before applying repellent, read all label directions; not all repellents are intended to be applied to the skin.

• Repellents with low concentrations (10 percent or below) are effective and may be preferred in most situations. Start with a low-concentration product and re-apply if necessary.

• If applying repellents over a long period of time, alternate the repellent with one having another active ingredient.

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