Wet weather brings mosquitoes out in full force - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wet weather brings mosquitoes out in full force

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Unfortunately, we have to bite the bullet this time of year when it comes to bugs. Mosquitoes can be a big concern. We're wondering if what we've seen so far just scratches the surface.

"Last year they were in smaller numbers because of the drought we experienced, so people are really noticing them this year," said Erin LaFaive, UW-Extension Horticulture Educator.

They come in bunches; mosquitoes are back for the summer. But this year may be worse. Just ask John Artisensi, who has been instructing canoe camps for the Eau Claire Parks and Recreation Department for the last 8 years.

"Every year it seems like a few bites, you put on the cortisone or some anti-itch stuff but this year I came home after the first few days down here and just been chewed up," Artisensi explained.

He's been bitten so much, he's having a hard time keeping track.

"I think I've lost count, I would guess up to fifty probably on each leg? I don't know. And some of them have gone, and some have gotten worse because I've scratched them," laughed Artisensi.

So why are the pests so prevalent this year? Experts blame all the wet weather we've had.

"They can last in the soil for many years, and then so when something floods, and gets to a level where they've been dormant, they can breed. So they need that fluctuating water which we see in flooding situations," LaFaive said.

Whether you live in a rural area or city, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to managing nearby mosquitoes.

"For example, if you have a little kiddie's pool in your yard, make sure you drain it and clean it every ten days at least. Bird baths, clean those out frequently," said LaFaive.

The UW-Extension office says a ten by ten area of water just a few inches deep in your backyard could produce hundreds of mosquitoes.

Experts say to keep a fan on you when you're outside if possible. Mosquitoes are poor flyers and enough of a breeze should keep them away.

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