Heavy rains bring floods of mosquitos to Michiana

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:54 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -They buzz in your ear and leave you itching. Mosquitos seem to be worse than ever right now.

16 News Now spoke with experts to find out why it seems we can’t get away from these bugs all of the sudden.

We’ve kept you up to date on how to deal with these pests for the past few months, but recent storms make it tough to cope with the number of hungry mosquitos flying around.

They say April showers bring May flowers--well apparently late June showers bring on mosquitos.

Environmental experts in Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties say the recent downpours are making creating ideal conditions for them to thrive.

“When the rain finally did start coming it came for about ten straight days. It’s that rain that causes this big flush of mosquitos. it allowed the mosquitos to breed and now we’re flushed with mosquitos,” said Purdue Extension educator Jeff Burbrink.

The spring drought prevented a lot of mosquitos from hatching. Now they’re all coming out at once after the heavy rains.

They can breed in pools of water as small as a bottle cap. You can keep them from hatching by draining backed-up gutters, emptying water out of tires, pots, and birdbaths, and by fixing broken septic systems.

“While we haven’t found any here yet, we have found West Nile in St. Joe County every year for the past several years. So it will be reasonable to assume that it will be back at some point this year,” said St. Joseph County Environmental Health Assistant Director Brett Davis.

Deet, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus work to repel mosquitos.

Using bug sprays or repellents are the best strategies against bites if you can’t avoid places mosquitos like to hang out.

“The 15% soft on the skin one is perfectly fine. I actually have some here in the office that I do sometimes use. You just may have to reapply it every hour and a half or so. Whereas the 40-60% deet, you can go longer times without reapplying it,” Davis said.

So you can spend less time swatting and more time celebrating summer.

It’s still early in the season with mosquitos so make sure to use those tips all summer long and even into the fall.

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