May showers bring June mosquitoes in Minnesota

Minnesota’s mosquito experts are reporting a surge of mosquito activity in certain areas of the Twin Cities due to rain in late May.

"They're definitely worse than last year," said Alex Carlson, public affairs manager for the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District. "There weren't a lot of mosquitoes last year so people got pretty used to enjoying their evenings out, but this year, it's about typical for what we see in a wet year."

Carlson said people are calling his office saying the mosquitoes seem particularly bad right now, but this year is actually shaping up to be similar to 2019 and 2020.

"Normally, we start seeing mosquitoes in May, and they start to creep up slowly. But because it was cold and then all of a sudden got warm, it kind of flipped a switch. So we went from not having a lot of mosquitoes to now all of a sudden you have a lot, especially in certain pockets in the Twin Cities," he said.

Many of those pockets are in the northern half of the Metro right now, particularly Anoka County and parts of Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

"We’ve seen a few at our house, haven't seen any here," said Les Geren, who was out for a walk Wednesday in Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. "We take care of our great grandson and he wants to be outside, so we don't want any more mosquitoes."

"There's been a few mosquitos and they tend to like me," said Doug Gordh, who was out biking in Coon Rapids. "I'm always having to pay attention because if they hit me first, I know that they're coming."

As the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District does its part to monitor ponds and swamps, it's asking you to lend hand and eliminate standing water.

"Some people might have buckets out or bird baths that are untended or loose tarps. Anything that's holding water can become a mosquito habitat," Carlson said.

The good news is this is time of year when mosquito-borne disease transmission is low. But closer to August, Carlson urges people to take precautions, as that's prime time for West Nile virus activity.

June is also peak month for Lyme disease transmission in Minnesota.

Carlson recommends that anyone who goes out hiking or spends a lot of time outdoors should check themselves, their children and their pets for ticks.

"If you find a tick and remove it, the chances of Lyme disease are significantly lower," he explained. "The tick has to be attached for at least 24 hours in order to spread the pathogens that lead to Lyme disease."