The mosquito population is expected to boom in the next week or two, according to Susan Paskewitz, professor of entomology at UW-Madison. Recent rain is a factor and mosquito trapping is an indicator.
“Just this week, in the traps coming in, you can see in some areas the numbers are really starting to pick up.”
Mosquitoes can transfer the West Nile Virus, though Paskewitz said Wisconsinites have a “remote risk” of being infected.
“Luckily Wisconsin has not been one of the states that has had kind of major epidemic outbreaks. Right across the border in Illinois, Chicago has had several years with recurent problems. But we haven’t faced anything like that yet, but it is always a concern.”
AUDIO: (:58) Paskewitz suggests you eliminate or reduce the amount of standing water around your property to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Those blood-sucking insects can be annoying — and gross.
“When mosquitoes bite people they are injecting saliva in, and so that’s really what your body is responding to … that introduction of new proteins and other molecules into your system and your body responds to that right away.”
It’s true, Paskewitz said, some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others. It could be related to one’s diet, skin bacteria, perspiration, body temperature, or color of clothing.
Help keep mosquitoes out of the area by eliminating or reducing standing water on your property, including from clogged rain gutters, bird baths, and spent tires. Avoid bites by wearing long sleeves and pants and using a mosquito repellent.
There are about 55 types of mosquitoes in Wisconsin, Paskewitz said.