Mosquito season has no plans of being frozen out by harsh winter

By KBJR News 1

April 27, 2014 Updated Apr 27, 2014 at 10:06 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The snow melt and April showers are a strong indicator of a high mosquito season this year--something that may put a dent in your outdoor plans.

"We've had a very wet, early spring," said Prof. Tim Craig, of the UMD Biology Department, "so that would mean there's a possibility of quite a bit of standing water around, and if we get some warm weather then I'd expect a pretty good start to the mosquito season."

If the weather stays cold, it could slow down the mosquito's development and we could see a later resurgence of the pesky insects, but Craig says that's highly unlikely.

This winter's brutally cold temperatures won't stop the booming mosquito population.

"Mosquitoes are really well adapted for staying in a dormant state in the cold weather," added Craig, "so they can wait out the cold weather and when it gets warm, we'll have plenty of mosquitoes."

...Which raises concerns about whether that could lead to an increase in the mosquito borne West Nile Virus.

But officials with the Douglas County Health and Human services Department say the disease is rare.

"Again most people– pretty healthy adults, won't have much effect on them at all," said Environmental Health Specialist Ken Zurian.

However, There are still steps you can take to keep yourself safe from the skeeters.

"You want to wear some type of repellent, and... if you're out late in the evening, this is when mosquitoes are most active," said Zurian, "wear some long sleeve clothing, and do some preventative work... getting rid of standing water."

Minnesota had 79 confirmed cases of west nile virus last year, compared to 22 in Wisconsin.

Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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