August 12, 2010

"I'm hearing from people, they're in tears there are so many mosquitoes."

Said UW-Madison entomologist Phil Pellitteri.
There are 54 different types of mosquitoes in Wisconsin, he said. "The ones that will make or break a summer we call summer floodwater mosquitoes."

They can lay eggs and those eggs will stay dormant for as long as three years. "It's almost like little time bombs out there," Pellitteri said. Once standing water hits them, they hatch....

"It's just crazy. This is unlike anything we've ever seen before with mosquitoes, that's for sure," said Tom Leonard, assistant store manager at Elliott's Ace Hardware in West Allis.

"I've been doing this for 30 years. This is the first time where almost every customer through the door says, 'Where's your mosquito repellent?'"
We had a terrible encounter with mosquitoes last week in the Kettle Moraine here in southern Wisconsin. But on Monday and Tuesday, we were all the way north, at the Apostle Islands National Seashore, where we went on a long hike through the woods, wore no repellent, and got no bites. Yesterday, we were hiking a little further south, at Morgan Falls and Copper Falls, and though we were able to hike without resorting to repellent, we got a few bites. So people bitch (and itch) about the mosquitoes in Wisconsin, but the northern tier is also Wisconsin. Check it out! We saw some highly scenic places, and though it's the peak of the season, we were often the only or almost the only people there.


GMay said...

Hell, Mississippi's state bird is the mosquito.

garage mahal said...

I've noticed this year that the actual bites aren't as bad as other years. Less itchy and don't last more than a day. My kid came back from camp in Rosholt, and one of the kids had 170 bites on him, they had to count them all to make a report.

mesquito said...


You deserve to be eaten, Deniers!

Tom DeGisi said...

Once, standing alone, waiting for the light in Minneapolis, I looked straight ahead and saw a mosquito heading my way. Then I looked right and saw a mosquito heading my way. Then I looked left and saw a mosquito heading my way. Finally I looked behind me and saw a mosquito heading my way.

Texas was much better.


ricpic said...

Spray on enough Off! and they don't bite, at least until your own sweat overcomes the Off!

edutcher said...

You should have brought a couple of the Althouse trolls with you.

At times they can be more than sufficiently repellent.

(I know, 200 times on the board, "I will not start a riot"...)

traditionalguy said...

Increased Mosquitoes , as stated here, are the result of standing water. That means a heavy soaking of rain for several days followed by a cloudy time or water accumulated under full shaded areas under the low lying plants. Neither of those conditions come from any increased warming, much less from any magical CO2 caused warming. They do come from increased clouds and cool air systems caused by our lack of solar flares. And then comes the next mini ice age!

rcocean said...

I ran into some Alabama mosquitoes on the lee side of a windswept sand spit. Damn, they were big - and vicious.

rhhardin said...

It was mosquito heaven in Ohio until about a month ago, when some quick spraying by the county put a huge and sudden nick in the population.

It's been mosquito free since.

c3 said...

Its due to global warming and racism...

Oh and the Tea Party.

(I read it somewhere.)

PS And Mexicans bring them in too!)

Bill White said...

We recently discovered that Bengay stops itching. We're now on our third tube of it. It seems to kill mosquito bite itching for about 20 hours or so - almost a whole day.

Freeman Hunt said...

Don't they spray in Wisconsin?

Here you can call the city if you encounter too many mosquitos, and they'll send trucks out to spray the area.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Here in Kansas we have an absolutely huge mosquito -- 20 mm is a common length -- but at least the thing is rather stupid, so so you can nail its ass without a lot of trouble.

This year the mozzies are quite manageable. We've had two weeks of monsoon, during which they go berserk fucking each other, followed by two or three weeks of dry and very hot ... during which all their damned spawn DIE.

The only problem is that my crop of fall cabbages doesn't care about mozzies and does not in the least appreciate triple digits and dry.

I guess I'd rather swat ... and bank a bigger check.

c3 said...

They seem to enjoy the rich flavors of professional golfers.

knox said...

We recently discovered that Bengay stops itching. We're now on our third tube of it. It seems to kill mosquito bite itching for about 20 hours or so - almost a whole day.

I do not want to go around smelling like Bengay, whether it works or not.

Michael Haz said...

Hiker trick: Carry some dryer sheets folded in your pocket or pack. Put one or two in your belt loops when in a high-mosquito area.

Article here.

Make your won repellant out of volatile plant oils, including:
Citronella Oil
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Cinnamon Oil
Castor Oil
Rosemary Oil
Lemongrass Oil
Cedar Oil
Peppermint Oil
Clove Oil
Geranium Oil

lewsar said...

that does sound rather...


whew, i feel better now.

Clyde said...

I live in southwest Florida (Lee County) and the two things that make this part of the state habitable are air conditioning and mosquito spraying. I read someplace that back in the early 1950s, before the spraying began, one mosquito trap out on Sanibel Island captured one million mosquitoes in one night! I honestly cannot imagine how people lived here back then.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We all encourage the bats to live in little houses set out for them. They and the bank swallows will eat a zillion mosquitios every night. Since the buggers carry West Nile Virus the horses all have to be vacinated.

Nevertheless, some years the area is inundated with mosquitos. Not so much this year since we have had a dry and hot summer.

We use one of these on our property when it is bad. They break the breeding cycle.

Good to hear about the BenGay. Gonna buy some.

Barry said...

Northern Wisconsin, especially the north-central and north-west, is also in the sway of a multi-year drought. Whereas southern Wisconsin has been hit by flooding for the past several years. This year, wet weather came especially late in the summer as well, so we're suffering more late-season mosquito hatchings (including, apparently, these "floodwater mosquitoes").

They've been obnoxious this year. First time I've sprayed my own yard this much.

PatCA said...

The last time I was in WI we were continuously attacked by these little yellow buzzing things. Awful! The natives were just oblivious, waved them away.

Megaera said...

Actually, there are a number of things you can put on mosquito bites that will neutralize the injected enzymes: individual body chemistry tends to dictate what works best, but household ammonia often is the most effective remedy, especially if you can apply it quickly after the bite. It will keep it from welting up, and stop the itching. Just dab a small amount on -- it actually doesn't smell. Haven't noticed any difference between sudsy or non-sudsy ammonia. Tea-tree oil also works, but it has a more pungent smell, if you don't care for it.

Megaera said...

I guess I could add that I learned the ammonia/tea-tree oil gambit the hard way, on numerous two and three-week back country canoe trips in Canada, which is pretty much a giant sponge laid on top of granite and populated only by eighty-trillion ravening mosquitoes, black flies, and about 50 random canoeists at any given time. The canoeists don't have much of a chance. After the first trip I learned about full-body bug nets and the virtues of ammonia -- and taking an oversupply, for others. Instant popularity.

showbiz111 said...

The customers should be asking the feds, "where's the DDT to kill these disease bearing parasite mosquitos?"