By Jeff Wagner

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — We’re not the only ones taking advantage of these balmy spring temperatures. A certain seasonal insect is also making an early appearance.

And that had us wondering: Why are we already seeing mosquitoes? Are there other bugs we should also be worried about? Good Question.

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“It’s April and we’re all out in shorts throwing discs,” said a satisfied Leo Byrne after finishing a disc golf round at Acorn Park.

To savor summer-like weather one must weather its summer-like symptoms.

Around what time of year should we be seeing mosquitoes?

“It really depends on a lot of different factors,” said Alex Carlson of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD). “Usually it’s around May when you start seeing mosquitoes.”

While that may be the case, several mosquito sightings have already happened around the Twin Cities.

Why are we already seeing mosquitoes?

“Because they just have it out for us,” joked Byrne.

“Definitely because of the warmer winter we had,” said Jessica Lopez Lyman. She’s right.

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Warmer air temperature means warmer water temperature. MMCD tracks temperatures in winter and early spring, specifically for days above 40 degrees.

Based on that measurement, this has been one of the warmest starts of a year since the early 1990s.

“If there’s a certain number of days above 40 degrees, which means it’s bringing the freezing point up to the water, then we can expect that the mosquitoes are going to start developing faster in the water,” said Carlson.

There are some mosquito look-a-likes flying about, specifically the midge. It has a similar body shape, only a touch smaller and often green in color. Most importantly, it doesn’t bite.

“That’s usually how you can tell if they’re swarming you but they’re not biting you, then they’re probably not mosquitoes,” said Carlson.

Late March and early April often give Minnesotans a solid snow storm or two. This week, however, rain is in the forecast for a few days. So grab an umbrella followed by bug spray this weekend.

“Anytime we see a rain event from here on forward of an inch or more, we’re expecting a brood of mosquitoes to emerge,” said Carlson.

“I carry this with me all the time, some good old ‘Deep Woods Off,’” said Byrne after pulling bug spray from his bag.

Trudging through the woods, he and other disc golfers should also keep an eye out for ticks. That insect already made its debut when the snow melted last month.

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After this week’s rain, Carlson advises people to clear any standing water around your yard or gutters, since that’s where mosquitoes breed.

Jeff Wagner