Mosquito season returns to U.P.

Welcome to summer!  If you’ve spent any time outside, you’ve no doubt been bothered by mosquitoes.

And thanks to that lovely long wet winter and cool spring, the mosquitoes are especially bad this year.

Western U.P. Health Department Environmental Health Director Lynne Madison, RS, says, “I really think the cool temperatures and the amount of rain we’ve had, have really improved the habitat for mosquitoes. We’re having just a bumper crop of mosquitoes this year. There’s lots of water in woods; it just allows the mosquitoes to breed. I think they’re more prevalent when it is cooler.”

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department advises that people take precautions against mosquito bites, though West Nile Virus — sometimes carried by certain mosquitoes — has yet to be detected this year in the U.P.

Madison says, “Recommendations would be to avoid the mosquito habitat, if you can, and to wear light clothing, to use insect repellents that have DEET.  Fifteen percent DEET is an adequate amount for controlling mosquitoes and it also will repel ticks as well.”

Follow the recommendations on the label of any product you use, and keep in mind that sunscreen will diminish the effectiveness of insect repellent. That means you may want to look at a product that is designed to do both, especially when applying it to children.