Dry summer leads to fewer mosquitoes in Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE - You'll have to deal with the heat and humidity this fourth of July, but thanks to our extremely dry conditions, your barbecue will likely be mosquito-free.
There are 54 kinds of mosquitos in Wisconsin, but the kind that bother us the most are summer floodwater mosquitos.
"No rain, no flooding. No flooding, none of the summer floodwater mosquitoes," explained UW entomologist Phil Pellitteri.
He told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Michelle Richards that floodwater mosquitos don't breed well in rivers and lakes.
Instead, they need standing water like puddles so their eggs can hatch.
"You get flooded highway ditches, something like that, you can breed 100 mosquitoes per square foot of water per day under the best conditions," explained Pellitteri.
With our extremely dry conditions, Pellitteri says we may not have to worry about mosquitos anytime soon.
"The problem is, the eggs are sitting in the ground. It is so dry that, unless we get very heavy rain, one would assume that it's going to soak in very quickly."
He warns there are other mosquitos lurking about.
"The mosquitoes that breed in bird baths and flower pots can breed in your backyard. What makes those significant is those are the more (carriers) of West Nile."
It may be nice to not have to deal with mosquitos, but according to Pellitteri, it's not natural.
"It's not normal to go out at dusk in Wisconsin and not get chased into your house," explained Pellitterri.
When we finally do get some flooding rains again, he says "from the time you get that heavy flooding rain, you have two weeks before you see it hatch."
Then, it'll be back to a normal summer in Wisconsin.