MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Haven’t seen any annoying, blood-sucking pests in the air yet? That’s because we’re a little behind this year, according to Mike McLean at the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.
McLean said we can thank the cooler weather, which has delayed the usual mosquito development by 7 to 10 days from this time last year.
“If it’s cool, they develop a lot slower. Of course, it’s been cool, so we have had a lot more time to get out there and treat them,” said McLean. “Even though people are going to see a few more mosquitoes this Memorial Day weekend, it probably won’t be as many as they saw last year.”
McLean noted that crews have treated 20,000 acres by helicopter since the heavy rain last week. They’re also testing larvae in water samples.
McLean said the snowmelt, above-average rainfall and saturated ground all add up to the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes, but due to the cooler weather, they will hatch at a slower rate.
At this time of year, Mary Welters and her daughter Rowan stick to the playground. She knows it’s just a matter of time before that familiar bite.
“Usually you try and stay inside after dark or try not to let her run through the grass and stir them up,” said Welters. “The first one, it’s always like, great — road construction, mosquito seasons, blizzards, and just the way it is.”
The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District says without a doubt, in the land of 10,000 lakes, the mosquitoes number into the billions. McLean said there are an estimated 60,000 breeding sites in the seven-county metro area, with 51 different mosquito species.
“I’d say we are on par to be a pretty normal year this year,” said McLean, who warns that the mosquito population will develop quickly once the weather warms up.
He recommends people heading out this Memorial Weekend remember to protect themselves with the “Three L’s” -– light, layered and loose clothing — as well as with DEET-based repellent.