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Beware of the swarm

Flickr User - Zi Krostag |

The unusual September heat has ushered in waves of nuisance mosquitoes in Michigan.

Environment officials said heavy August rain activated dormant egg, and the recent heat has made for easy living for the petsts.

Bill Stanuszek is the director of the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission. He said the mosquitos have some time left before the cold comes in.

“And we probably have a couple of weeks left, in their lifespan, where they’ll be biting,” Stanuszek said. “So probably around, as we move in to October, they’ll wane and then the weather will definitely impact them if we get our normal fall/autumn temperatures.”

He said mosquito populations are particularly heavy in the Tri-cities and central counties. They begin to die off, you should make sure to always use mosquito repellant when you leave the house.

Environment officials said, although we’re heading into fall people, particularly in central counties, should continue to wear repellent to reduce the possibility of contracting the west nile virus.

So far this year, there here have been more than  30 cases of the virus reported in Michigan.

Stanuszek said nuisance mosquitoes usually don’t spread the virus but its hard to tell which mosquitos may be dangerous and which are not.

“So we have this virus that’s out there and that’s transmitted by a different type of mosquito, not necessarily nuisance mosquitos,” he said. “However, nuisance mosquitoes occasionally can transmit the virus so, it’s important to wear the repellant not just to prevent from being bit by the nuisance but also to concern of the West Nile virus, in the state.”

Stanuszek said nuisance mosquitoes bite mammals while the bugs that carry the West Nile Virus usually usually go after birds first.

He also said mosquitoes swarm some areas more than others.

“But if you’re in a low area of the state like in the Saginaw/Bay area, where we just hold on to a lot of water and get a lot of flood water, we get a lot more mosquitoes per rainfall than other areas of the state.”

Stanuszek said mosquitoes are particularly heavy in low lying areas that hold rainwater like Saginaw, Bay, Midland, and Tuscola counties.



Credit Mark Torregrossa | MLive
Map shows rainfall departure from normal amounts for the last 30 days. Purple areas have received over five inches more rain than normal.

He said using over-the-counter repellent with at least 25 percent Deet will help repel the critters until they begin to  die off, likely within a couple weeks.