Smack, slap, swat… the many sounds you hear in the summer season in Minnesota as the mosquitoes make a triumphant comeback. While they haven't really returned yet, it won't be long now. Typically mosquitoes appear practically overnight. That's because they need ground, air, and water temperatures to all be above 50°. Once that occurs, the eggs in the water chill for about 10 days before the mosquitoes are born and begin buzzing around the neighborhood. It's that 10 day mark that you likely notice the dramatic increase in their numbers making it seem like they appear overnight… then they stay until that first good frost in the fall.
So is there something we can do about this pest or do we just have to deal? Well, you pretty much just have to deal, but there are some tricks you can use to make it a little more bearable. Deet sprays are some of the most common. While some stay away from these because deet is a chemical, it is approved for use by the FDA and it is considered safe (just try not to consume). This is mostly for use on your arms and legs AWAY from your hands, eyes, and mouth.
A couple other home remedies involve some products available hanging around your house. For example, lavender is a natural mosquito repellent so you could try washing your clothes with lavender fabric softener or sticking a couple lavender scented dry sheets in your pockets (just don't be surprised if your friends know you as the lavender lover). Also lavender candles may do the trick as well. Lemon-eucalyptus oil is a chemical free repellant alternative that can be applied a lot like deet… you can buy it online or make it yourself. Apparently hops attract the nasty little bugs, so maybe do your beer drinking indoors, especially near sunset which is the prime time for mosquito activity.
Best preventive of all is to dispose of all standing water. Easier said than done when you live in the land of 10,000 lakes, but keeping that old water bucket around isn't helping things. This is why just learning to live with the pesky critters is the best thing to do because there is far too much naturally standing water to prevent every mosquito from hatching. Ultimately though, just enjoy the Memorial Day weekend because historically speaking, mosquito season really gets underway in the first week of June.