Upside of long, cold spring? Noticeable lack of mosquitoes

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There’s a big benefit to this long, cold spring: No mosquitoes.

Unlike last year at this time, Minnesotans are not having to load up on the bug spray every time they step outside.

For the first time in recent memory, Minnesotans enjoyed Memorial Day weekend without a mosquito bite.

Enjoy it while it lasts, however, because they’re coming.

Until they do, the delay may actually help Metro Mosquito Control keep down the population for the rest of the summer.

Some of this season’s missing mosquitoes are right here under Diann Crane’s microscope.

The insects are fashionably late for spring.

“It takes a little while for the mosquitoes to develop and it takes them even longer when it’s cold,” said Mike McLean, of Metropolitan Mosquito Control. “The water temperatures are low and it makes them last a little longer in the water.”

That is what they are finding so far. Not the flying and biting mosquitoes, but the larvae that are still in development.

That’s buying time as Metro Mosquito Patrol has already been in the air and dropping bacterial pellets in lakes and ponds for weeks.

The environmentally safe treatment kills the larvae before they develop into flying, biting mosquitoes.

“With the cool temperatures, they just spend more time developing. So, it gives us a bigger window of opportunity to get in there and treat them,” McLean said.

From her view at the microscope, Crane can already see the window is closing.

“I would say next week we should notice an emergence, a noticeable emergence for people,” said Crane.

That’s when Minnesota spring as we know it will finally return.

“So, we caught a break over Memorial Day weekend, but they’re coming,” she said. “It won’t be too long.”

McLean says this extended window actually gives Metro Mosquito Control the means to better manage the baseline mosquito population.

That means they are predicting a normal summer for mosquitoes.