Everything You Need to Know About Mosquitoes This Summer

What you should know about mosquitoes this summer

Mosquitoes are a fact of life in Michigan during the summer time. If you live in Michigan during the summer, you are going to contend with mosquitoes at some point. There’s just no getting around that.

You can’t avoid mosquitoes, but you can protect yourself against them. The best way to do that is to understand how they work. We’re here to help with that. Here are our answers to the mosquito questions our customers ask us the most. If you want to make it through summer even relatively unscathed, here’s what you should know:
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When does mosquito season start?

When does mosquito season start?The primary factor that determines when mosquitoes reach peak activity is the outdoor air temperature. Air temperatures consistently around 50°F or higher are ideal for Michigan 60-odd mosquito species. When it gets warm enough, mosquitoes either awaken from hibernation or hatch from their eggs.

Usually, mosquitoes start emerging in Michigan around mid-May. On years when we experienced an early or abnormally warm spring, however, mosquitoes have emerged earlier than usual. Mosquitoes also reproduce throughout their season, so the earlier they get started, the more mosquitoes we have to worry about. As you’re no doubt aware, mosquito season is well underway in Michigan this year.

Why are mosquitoes so bad in the summer?

Heat affects how quickly mosquitoes grow at every stage of their life cycle. External temperatures determine the incubation period of mosquito eggs. The hotter it is outside, the faster mosquito eggs hatch. Hot weather allows mosquitoes to remain active longer, so they eat more and grow faster.

Mosquitoes that grow faster reach reproductive maturity faster and lay eggs faster… you see where this is going. Michigan’s summers tend to be humid as well as hot, which is even better for mosquitoes. Michigan’s mosquitoes rely on humidity to stay hydrated while they hunt. They also lay their eggs in sources of standing water. Mosquitoes populations are always highest during summer, but they’re particularly huge during wet summers. Expect more mosquito activity than usual the day after a rainstorm.

Where are mosquitoes most active?

Where are mosquitoes most active?Although they can live just about anywhere, mosquitoes prefer to live near water. Mosquitoes require a water source to reproduce and lay their eggs. Most mosquitoes prefer stagnant, standing sources of water like swamps or bogs. They’re not picky, however, and they don’t need much water either. Virtually any quantity of stagnant water is sufficient for a mosquito to lay eggs in.

Mosquitoes also prefer living in dark, damp areas. Like any living thing, mosquitoes can become dehydrated and die. Though they thrive in heat, sunlight overheat and dehydrate too quickly. Living in dark, damp areas allows mosquitoes to stay active longer and reproduce more frequently. The ideal mosquito hot spot is a still pool of water located in a relatively heavily-forested area. If you live near water and/or sources of thick vegetation, expect a heavy mosquito presence near your home.

When are mosquitoes most active?

Mosquitoes are active all the time, but they’re most active at dawn, dusk, or nighttime. Mosquitoes don’t hunt quite as aggressively during the middle of the day because they don’t want to dry out in the hot summer sun. When the sun isn’t beating down at full strength, mosquitoes feel much more comfortable. They’ll stay out hunting longer and range much further from their usual, dark and humid haunts.

Keep in mind, however: mosquitoes are always active somewhere, even if you can’t see them out in the open. If mosquitoes can keep cool and hydrated enough to manage it, they’ll happily hunt and swarm all day. If you’ll be near a shady forest, lake, or swamp, prepare for mosquitoes no matter what time it is.

How do I keep mosquitoes away from my home?

How do I keep mosquitoes away from my home?Mosquitoes can hunt anywhere, but they only live where they have a reliable source of water. If you can keep them from getting that water, you won’t have to deal with mosquitoes reproducing and laying eggs near your home.

Look for and clean up any sources of stagnant, standing water both inside and outside your home. Outside your home, fix leaking faucets, hoses, and other plumbing fixtures. Look for places where puddles may naturally form on your lawn after rain or while you’re sprinkling. Remember: mosquitoes don’t need much water at all. Even tiny puddles left behind in drainage ditches, planters, storm drains, or plant baskets provide more than enough. Inside, make sure your sump pump works, fix plumbing leaks, and consider investing in a dehumidifier.

How do I keep mosquitoes away while I’m outside?

Apply bug spray whenever you’re going to spend time outside, especially in areas where mosquitoes may be prevalent. Apply the spray as often as its label specifies to any uncovered areas of your body except your face. If you’re going to spend time in an area where mosquitoes will be prevalent, wear long clothing. Cover vulnerable areas such as your armpits, knees, elbows, and ankles as much as possible.

Avoid spending an extended period of time outdoors after dark, especially in mosquito-prone areas. If you’re camping or participating in a similar outdoor activity, bring appropriate mosquito barriers. Make sure you have enough bug spray at all times, and continue to apply it regularly. Sleep and, if possible, eat under a mosquito net. Keep your campsite clean and clutter-free, and make sure there’s no standing water nearby.

 

If the mosquitoes around your home have become intolerable, don’t hesitate to give Griffin a call. We’ll help keep the bloodsuckers away so you don’t have to be afraid to walk outside your own home.

Where Do Mosquitoes Come From?

Referral program from Griffin Pest Solutions  in Kalamazoo

Mosquitoes suck – literally and figuratively. It’s bad enough that they swarm around us every time we go outside, covering us in itchy bites when they eat our blood, but the worst part is that they show up just in time for the nicest months of the year. Just when you actually want to start spending some time outside, they’re waiting for you.

Why? How is it that mosquitoes only show up just in time for summer? Where were they during winter or spring? Is there anything we can do to send them back? Get to know your enemy, and maybe you can have an itch-free summer this year.  Here are some of the facts about the least interesting, most annoying bloodsuckers in the animal kingdom.

 

mosquito in summer sunset

Why Summer?

Depending on where you live, mosquito season may be in full swing already. It all comes down to temperature, weather, and humidity. Michigan experienced greater-than-average rainfall in spring, and that moisture hung around, partially in the form of excess standing water. Rain tends to bring all kinds of pests around, and when you combine it with above average spring heat, you get perfect mosquito conditions.    

Mosquitoes deposit eggs in puddles of standing water, so there’s a direct correlation between rainfall and mosquito severity. So why summer and not spring? Mosquito eggs won’t generally hatch until the average temperature reaches around 50 degrees. The hotter the outdoor temperature, the more quickly mosquitoes complete their growth cycle. Mosquitoes come for the standing water and stay for those nice, summer temperatures. They even settle down and start families! It’d be kind of cute if they weren’t mosquitoes.

 

mosquito hibernating

Where Were They?

If mosquitoes “come back” during spring and summer, then where were they the rest of the year? It varies by species. Mosquitoes respond to winter’s cold in one of two ways. Either they spend fall gorging themselves to prepare for hibernation like very small, flying bears, or they get busy making winter-proofed eggs and then die.

Fast forward to summer. When temperatures start warming back up, the hibernating mosquitoes emerge from the dark, enclosed places where they had been hibernating and start feeding,  reproducing, and (of course) laying eggs. As for the less-lucky fall egg layers, the outdoor heat stimulates the previously-laid winterproof eggs, and a new generation of mosquitoes is born.

 

sunset with mosquitoes

Where Are They Coming From?

Mosquitoes live, breed, and generally hang out around puddles of standing water, or in moist and dark areas. Anywhere that’s the least bit damp, dark, or warm can be prime real estate for the less-than-discerning bloodsucker. You may notice particularly bad mosquitoes around ponds and lakes, heavily-wooded areas, swampy, brackish fields, and natural low points that hold water like gutters, valleys, or potholes.

Most mosquitoes can be active all day, but you’ve probably noticed they’re considerably more active at dusk or night. Ironically, though they love the sun, mosquitoes are easily dehydrated. Staying out in the hot, dry summer sun for too long can kill them quickly. Most mosquitoes stick to dark, damp areas like basements, forests, or swamps during the day where they can stay hydrated, and feed at night when the darkness preserves a comfortable enough amount of dampness and coolness.

 

applying mosquito repellant

How Can I Keep Them Away?

Mosquito prevention revolves around depriving the pest of things they need. First, look for places where water may be accumulating. Clear your gutters, downspouts, storm drains, and window wells. Look for low spots in your lawn that may collect moisture, especially in shaded areas. Untreated wooden decks and porches soak up a lot of moisture and attract mosquitoes, too, so make sure yours is water resistant.

Next, look for other objects out in the open that could collect water. Keeping your lawn and hedges trimmed short can help too, because shorter plants collect less water than longer ones. Finally, it’s a good idea to apply mosquito repellant when you go out. If you’re planning on spending more than two or three hours outside, you should bring your repellant with you to reapply as needed to help prevent bites.

 

Few things on earth unite us like mosquitoes: everybody hates those nasty things. Understanding what makes mosquitoes tick (or suck) can help you better understand how to prepare for them and prevent them from ruining your summer.

And if you end up needing some help taking on your mosquito problem, remember you can always call Griffin. We’ve got the experience and knowhow to drive mosquitoes out and keep them out.