February 8, 2016

Dodging a bullet with mosquito season

Recent rains have caused a slight boost in Wisconsin’s mosquito population, but it’s not likely to get much worse this year.

The drought across much of the state this summer held down the worst of the insects. Even with more rain falling in recent weeks, UW-Madison entomologist Phil Pellitteri says it’s not enough to create a last minute swarm.

Pellitteri says most of the recent rainfall has not been heavy enough to leave the standing pools of water that are needed to hatch dormant eggs. He says it would take something like a five inch rainfall in a short period of time to really get things going. It could still happen before the summer ends though.

Just because we got off easy this year doesn’t mean the bugs are gone for good though. Pellitteri says the eggs are lying dormant right now and they could come back as bad as ever next summer, once the heat and wet weather returns.

If mosquitoes do take flight before the onset of fall, Pellitteri says it would take until after about the third freeze to get rid of them for the year.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (:55)

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