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Mosquito numbers are way down this summer and the drought is the reason why

Mosquito numbers were four to eight times lower than normal at certain points this summer.

MINNEAPOLIS — In Minnesota, there are two things that can bring your summer plans to a screeching halt: heavy rain and hungry mosquitoes.

So far this summer, we haven’t seen much of either of them.

Alex Carlson with the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD) says mosquito numbers are way down this Summer.

"It's really been remarkable. We knew that the mosquito numbers were going to be low when there was a lack of rain, but we were really surprised by how low it has been,” Carlson says.

Recently released data shows that mosquito numbers this summer are well below the 10-year average.

At some points this summer, the numbers were four to eight times lower than a normal year.

Carlson says the drought this summer is by and large the biggest factor.

"The most common mosquito in Minnesota is called the flood water mosquito. They are really active a couple of days after a rainfall and because we haven't had those significant rains of about an inch or more, we haven't had those mosquitoes emerging this year,” Carlson says.

And even though Minnesota recently got some rain, Carlson says it's too late. Most of the mosquito species in the state have already gone through their life cycles.

So, the mosquito numbers will stay low, possibly even into next summer.

"Because fewer of them hatched this year, there [are] fewer to lay eggs for next year,” Carlson says.

But even though we're seeing fewer mosquitoes this summer, you shouldn't let your guard down.

"We are still finding mosquitoes that have been testing positive for West Nile Virus,” Carlson says.

The MMCD has found mosquitoes with West Nile Virus in nearly every county in the Twin Cities metro.

So, if you're going outside, they still recommend putting on some bug spray just to be safe.

"Even if you're not swatting bugs, it's better to be safe than sorry and put on some bug spray,” Carlson says.

It's also a good idea to get rid of standing water in your yard.

With less rain, mosquitoes are desperate and they're looking for any place they can lay their eggs.

So, empty out those kiddy pools, bird baths and old tires just to be safe.


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