Recent weather the perfect recipe for mosquito spike

GRAND  RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A trifecta of specific weather conditions have  led to a bumper crop of mosquitoes in West Michigan. 

Heavy rain, warm temperatures and a very light wind have proven to be the perfect recipe for the recent rise in people doing the "mosquito dance."




Water is a critical component to a mosquito's life cycle, and we've had plenty of that. 

Although  the past week has been quite dry, heavy rain Aug. 24 through  Sept. 6 led to standing water that was more prevalent than at any other  time this warm season.

Many  areas across West Michigan during this time frame picked up 3 inches to  as a much as 1 foot of rain, with measurable rain occurring 10 of 13  days.  

A female mosquito only needs an inch or more of stagnant water to lay  her eggs. Only female mosquitoes need to feed on blood for reproduction;  once she has her feast, she can lay upwards of 300 eggs. During a  mosquito's lifespan of 4-8 weeks, she can do this as many as three  times.

Mosquitoes like it warm as well. So far, September temperatures have been running a  little higher than four degrees above average.  

The average speed of a mosquito is approximately 1.5 mph, so they can  move better when the wind is light. It's definitely been that, with the  average wind speed of just 3.2 mph between Sept. 11 and Sept.15. 


Since  most mosquitoes stay within several hundred feet from where they hatch,  it's a good practice to eliminate standing water around your yard.  Typical culprits are bird baths, empty pails and other items on a patio  and/or deck.

Insect repellant with DEET will certainly help your cause.

Also,  wearing light-colored clothes, a long-sleeved shirt and pants helps.  The thicker the garment, the less likely the mosquito's mouth  (proboscis) will make it to your skin.

It also helps to be more in  the open on a breezy day. Most mosquito species (there are 175 of them  across the U.S.) have difficulty flying in breezy conditions.

>>Inside Bill's Blog: Mosquitoes! | Storm Team 8 Forecast | Free weather app


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