Minnesota is creeping up on mosquito season traditionally in the next 30 days. We're starting to see them already, so does that mean it's going to be worse than ever this year?

This all depends on a couple of things, and the rainfall is the key to it all.

We're coming into the rainy season, and as much as Minnesota needs to have a good amount of rain for agriculture, so do the mosquitoes. It's a catch 22 that none of us like, but it's something we just get used to as part of our tropical summers.

According to KARE 11, a meeting this week for North Central Mosquito Control Association determined they need to work harder than ever to control the mosquito population this year. The last 2 years have been the worst on record due to the high water tables and a lot of rain.

This year's mosquito forecast shows that the weekend of April 22nd will be the start of seeing mosquitoes hatching and becoming an annoyance during outdoor activities. With temps expected to be in the 70's for the weekend, and some rain showers, the dangerous mosquito season will start.

So what can you do to help keep the population in your yard to a minimum?

The biggest step to take is keep standing water out or your yard as much as possible. Eggs are laid and hatch in standing water, so there will be more mosquitoes in those areas.

There's a number of services in central Minnesota that spray residential yards to keep mosquitoes to a minimum. The process is generally spraying around your home, in shrubs and greenery, with a chemical that drives mosquitoes away. These chemicals are generally harmless to humans and pets, and applied every few weeks in the spring and summer.

There are fogging machines that consumers can purchase that will provide short-term population control. This is generally used for yards that are planning an outdoor gathering for an evening.

Run your sprinklers less often, especially in the evening. Over-watering causes standing water, and mosquitoes thrive in it. Having a plush green lawn may you're the "king of grass" on your block, but why have it when you can't stand to be outside because of the blood suckers you're attracting?

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Bug zappers, mosquito traps, and ultrasonic repelling devices don't do very much to keep the mosquitoes away. They'll find a way to bite regardless.

It's always important to apply a repellent to your skin when outdoors, and is the most effective way to keep bites down. It just takes 1 mosquito bite to contract diseases like West Nile. If you have pets outside, it's important to think of them too. Make sure to pre-treat them as well before going outside.

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