Call out the SWAT TEAM! In parts of West Michigan, the mosquitoes are as bad as they have been in several years! I was outside Sunday PM in the hot sun with a temperature in the low 80s and they were still coming after me! The weather gets most of the blame for the high number of mosquitoes right now.
This map from the Michigan State Climatologist’s Office shows rainfall over the past 30 days. Up to a foot of rain fell in Muskegon Co. Much of this rain came in a short period of time. Grand Rapids had 4.46″ of rain from Aug. 25-29. We had another 2.07″ of rain from Sept. 1-6, giving us 6.53″ of rain in less than 2 weeks. We had at least a trace of rain on 12 of 14 days from Au. 24 to Sept. 6 and measurble rain on 10 of 13 days. Prior to that time, we had been in a dry pattern for much of the summer.
It’s also been warm to hot. From Aug. 26 to Sept. 5, the average high temperature in G.R. was 84. And for the trifecta – the wind has been light to calm for the past week. The average wind speed in G.R. from Sept. 11-15 was only 3.2 mph. Mosquitoes like it warm and calm with lots of standing water to breed in.
Since female mosquitoes can live for 4-8 weeks, the skeeters may stick around thru much of September, though they should be fewer and farther between on breezy days. It’ll take a good frost (in Oct.) to really end the onslaught. In the meantime, keep covered up if you can (long sleeves, long pants), use a mosquito repellent with DEET, wear lighter-colored clothing and get rid of standing water where these critters can breed (try to change the water in the bird baths daily). Here’s some interesting mosquito facts. Mosquitoes will bite anything with blood – that includes cows, horses, dogs and birds.