Record snowfall adds bite to mosquito season

Campers are preparing for extra mosquitoes this season.

If you've spent any time outdoors the past few days, you've probably noticed a growing, itchy nuisance. Experts say we're in for an extreme mosquito season because of the harsh northern Michigan winter we experienced.

â??The kind of snow we got this year provided for lots of little still pools that are still full of water in our woodlands and low lands,â?? explained Duke Elsner, small fruit educator with the MSU Extension.

"Anytime you have standing or stagnant water that's not moving or flowing bodies of water like rivers or creeks etc., you'll find those are prime breeding ground for mosquitoes,â?? said Nathan DeWeerd of the Northern Michigan Mosquito Squad.

When it comes to protecting your home, the Mosquito Squad says to stick to the five Ts.

Tip things like bird baths.

Turn over wheelbarrows.

Make sure tarps are pulled taut.

â??Toss out your yard waste leaves grass clippings things like that,â?? added DeWeerd. â??Anything that contains moisture is prime breeding ground for mosquitoes.â??

Treat your yard, either with products from the store or hire a service like the Mosquito Squad.

Unless it's a dry summer, we could be in store for a very buggy season.

â??If we do get into a rainy period where those things accumulate water, it's very important for people to look and drain those things on their own property and neighborhoods. It can make a tremendous difference in the number of mosquitoes that occur as the season goes along,â?? said Elsner.

The Mosquito Squad experts say anywhere from a thousand to ten-thousand mosquitoes can breed in something as small a pop bottle cap. So it's important to do a thorough check of your yard.

The MSU Extension says although there will be more mosquitoes, that doesn't necessarily mean it will be worse for diseases like West Nile. It's too early in the season to tell right now.

The pesky critters are making their presence known to people camping over the holiday.

â??We've managed to stay out even with the nuisance,â?? said Rory Baker of Interlochen. â??Liberal use of bug spray to keep it going and spraying some DEET on our chairs and some of the outdoor equipment to keep them away.â??

Some campers aren't as willing to tough it out.

â??Instead of being outside I went inside the camper for the weekend,â?? said Michelle Anderson of Traverse City. â??We just deal with it. Next year will be betterâ?¦ we hope!â??