December 22, 2014

Mosquitos are hungry

PHOTO: UW MadisonMosquito repellent is flying off the shelves in northern Wisconsin. Diep Johnson, an epidemiologist with the state Division of Public Health, says conditions seem to be right up north, where some retailers are reporting that they can’t keep bug repellent products in stock due to demand.

“They (culex mosquitos) tend to breed really well with a lot of rain, and long days with hot temperatures,” Johnson said. Johnson can speak to this herself – she was in the Spooner area recently, and said the mosquitoes were large and aggressive.

When it comes to repellent, it’s all about the DEET – the ingredient that’s effective on the bugs you don’t want biting you. “We usually recommend 20 to 30 percent DEET,” said Johnson, noting that the ingredient is effective against both West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes and Lyme disease-carrying ticks.

Johnson recommends checking out the Environmental Protection Agency website for specific information on insect repellents, active ingredients, and how long certain products will last.