Experts: More Mosquitoes Than Ever in West Michigan

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jun 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-12 06:45:53-04

HOLLAND, Mich. (June 11, 2014) — Standing water and humid conditions create perfect conditions for mosquitoes. This time of year, they can be more than just a little nuisance.

That means big business for the Mosquito Squad in Holland, whose Jack DenUyl says they’re busier than ever before.

“It’s probably one of the largest populations so far this spring than what we’ve seen in Michigan,” DenUyl said.

The Mosquito Squad has doubled staff this year to handle all the calls from West Michigan residents looking for relief.

“It’s really been a perfect storm in the Michigan area because of a very heavy snowfall and not a very hot spring,” he said. ” Our ground has been moist for a very long time.”

Which creates a dangerous opportunity for the diseases mosquitoes carry, such as West Nile Virus.  In Michigan, some 38 infections were reported last year, including two deaths.

DenUyl says mosquitoes are breeding at a very high rate right now. But there are ways to combat this unusually terrible season of mosquitoes – and that unbearable itching that comes with their bites.

DenUyl suggests removing any standing water in your yard, along with leaf piles and sticks. He recommends clearing out places where there could be moisture, such as gutters or tarps.

The Mosquito Squad can spray your yard and kill off 85 percent of the pests. Larvicide can also be used in drains and ditches, where mosquitoes breed.

DenUyl says the flame of mosquito repellant candles actually attracts mosquitoes before the scent drives them away, so if you use those or insect zappers, keep them in an unoccupied corner.

“If you have a light that’s out on your deck, change it to a yellow light,” DenUyl said, “because mosquitoes don’t get attracted to that yellow light as much as a white light.”

The Centers for Disease Control recommends covering up with long shirts and pants to avoid mosquito bites in addition to wearing insect repellant.