Pest expert: Winter's deep freeze won't save us from summer mosquitos

After nearly two weeks in the freezer, Minnesotans are looking forward to a warmup in the coming days.

But, if you are looking for a bright side of the dangerously cold weather Minnesota has faced, you won't find it when it comes to summer pests.

"I wish I had better news, but unfortunately the cold weather in the winter doesn’t make a huge impact on the mosquito production come spring and summertime," said Alex Carlson with Metropolitan Mosquito Control.

That’s because most mosquitos spent the winter in egg forms that are buried and adept to surviving even the coldest of temperatures. In the end, it may be the snow that plays a bigger factor. Because it tends to insulate the eggs and may affect how they hatch in the spring.

Especially with the spring melt. the Twin Cities typically gets about 54 inches of snow each winter. So far this year, MSP Airport reports about 41 inches. It’s still a bit below average, but not a great predictor of the eventual mosquito hatch.

"If you remember the last couple of years, we’ve had those April blizzards," said Carlson. "They dumped a lot of snow then melts really fast. That can be a big producer of mosquito larvae. Because they love that standing water anywhere they can find it."

Wood ticks are not affected by the bitter cold either and they’ll start emerging as soon as the temperature rise above freezing. The bitter cold may have frozen all of Minnesota, just not our insects.

"But I know that as true as it is being a Minnesotan that we’re going to have mosquitos out," said Carlson. "And we’re going to be here doing what we can to make sure people can enjoy their summer."

Carlson says mosquito eggs can survive for up to seven years, so we’re never really out of the woods. He says even if we have a couple of dry years, all it takes in one rainy season and the mosquitos are all back.