Mosquitoes in Full Force

Mosquitoes in Full Force

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - With mosquitoes seemingly more prevalent than usual this Summer, Harris Nature Center Naturalist Amanda Lorenz says the extra moisture from snow and rain is the primary reason.

"They have been a bit worse this year," Lorenz said. "I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we had a lot of snow this winter, and a lot of rain this Spring, so there was really high flooding."

Howard Russell, an entomologist for Michigan State University, says he doesn't think mosquitoes are that much more resistant to bug spray or other forms of poison as they have been in past years, but noted that they will be able to bite through thin or tight clothing.

"There may be some areas that apply a lot of insecticides against mosquitoes," Russell said. "Certainly resistance depends on what proportion of the population is exposed to those insecticides."

Lorenz said humans and their blood aren't the primary diet for mosquitoes.

""They don't actually eat blood, that's not their primary food," Lorenz said. "Their primary food is plant nectar, so they're actually important pollinators of many plants, and if we didn't have them, those plants wouldn't get pollinated."

Russell, however, didn't quite agree with that assessment.

"Oh, I think that for some species, humans are the primary diet," Russell said. "Females are obligate blood-feeding insects, which means they need a blood meal for their eggs to mature and develop."

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