Burst in mosquitoes caused by rainy days and hot temps

Posted at 5:07 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 17:18:49-04

WEST MICHIGAN--If you’ve been outside recently, you may have noticed that mosquitoes are out in full force across West Michigan, thanks to a wet start to September.

But there may be an end to the swatting and itching sooner than you think.

Perfect conditions, like rain and warm temps, have lead to the perfect breeding ground for the swarm of mosquitos. But, with frost coming, that may be coming to end pretty soon.

But, it's been a busy couple of weeks for DeVries Landscaping.

"Most people's questions is 'where were they all year?' They weren't here all year and then all of a sudden we get them all," says Brett Shine, DeVries General Manager.

In the last few days, Shine says they've done thousands of dollars in pest control in response to an increase in mosquitoes. An increase experts say is unusual.

"They're higher now this time of year than they've been in several years and you can relate it back to all that rain that we got in August and all the warm weather we've been having. It's perfect conditions for mosquitos to breed," says James Dunn, Ph.D. Entomologist.

The breeding ground for the current swarm of mosquitoes is standing water.

"It's low water, it's low areas, it's tires in your yard that you didn't take care of," Shine says.

Keeping a close eye on those puddles can possibly stave off the bites. But, these insects can become more than pests.

"There's a study that was done in Kent County this year where a quarter of the mosquitos contain West Nile virus, so that's a concern," says Dunn.

So, while ducking and dodging mosquitoes may seem like the best defense, having a few handy items may save your skin the irritation and may possibly save your life.

Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET. Also wear long pants and long sleeves and limit your outdoor activities at peak mosquito times around dawn and dusk.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

"As soon as the first frost hits, we're going to be much, much better off," says Shine.

The first frost should be just around the corner, but until then keep your eyes open around standing water and keep your repellent close by! You can also contact a professional like DeVries to come out and spray your yard, which should provide relief for about 30 days.

Many areas of West Michigan will probably see their first frosts in October.