Skip to main content

Report: Tick numbers likely down this year, mosquitoes up in the air

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Warmer temperatures in the forecast already have the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District thinking about spring and summer – and the pests that will come with it, KSTP reports.

The district issued its annual report Thursday, which explained how 2013 was an unusual year for mosquito activity because of last year's odd weather patterns.

"The 2013 season was characterized by an extremely late spring with heavy snowfall into May," the report says. "This was followed by a wet early summer but ended with a hot and dry August and September. These conditions resulted in a major mosquito population peak in mid-July."

Despite the late start of the season, the agency says West Nile virus activity "remained strong" with 79 human cases recorded.

The Minnesota Department of Health has detailed facts about the disease, and tips to prevent it.

The Star Tribune said 103 cases of West Nile were confirmed in 2012, the second-worst year behind 2007 when 116 cases were confirmed. The paper said the virus – which is most common in open agriculture areas in western and central Minnesota – arrived in Minnesota in 1999.

According to the MMCD, most West Nile infections are mild, and symptoms include fever, headache and body aches. Occasionally the symptoms include a skin rash and swollen lymph glands, the agency says.

Symptoms of more severe West Nile infections include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and coma, the MMCD says. According to the agency, 10-15 percent of severe cases can result in death.

Since winter still has to play out in terms of snow, the MMCD didn't appear to make a formal projection in its 112-page report on how many mosquitoes will hatch this season, or when. The state has 51 known mosquito species in all, the report says.

Mike McLean of the MMCD tells KSTP that the late snow a year ago appears to bode well for this coming summer in terms of ticks.

"Since they have a two-year life cycle, that depression in their numbers will carry over into this year, we're thinking," McLean tells the station.

He did add, however, that those projections could change.

"Every year we have to plan for a normal year. But the problem is, no year is ever normal," McLean says.

Despite the prevalence of pests in Minnesota during mosquito and tick season, no cities in the state made the Huffington Post's "10 Buggiest Cities in the U.S." list in 2012.

The No. 1 city was Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida, followed by New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana.

Other cities in the top 10 included Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida (No. 5), Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama (No. 7) and Richmond, Virginia (No. 10).

Next Up

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Two Harbors votes overwhelmingly to recall Mayor Chris Swanson

The mayor had been scrutinized for several things leading up to the vote Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.

Ettinger and Finstad

Brad Finstad (R) edges out Jeff Ettinger (D) in CD-1 special election

Finstad will serve out the remaining months of the late Jim Hagedorn's term, before facing Ettinger again in November.

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

Minnesota primary 2022: Results from MN's statewide, congressional races

Minnesotans have voted and set the stage for the November elections.

Omar Samuels

Rep. Ilhan Omar defeats Don Samuels in contentious primary

Unofficial results for one of Minnesota's most-watched primary races are in.

Ambulance Hennepin Healthcare

Boy, 14, critical after accidental shooting at Minneapolis apartment

Police say the shooting happened during a gathering at an apartment.

Screen Shot 2022-08-09 at 3.25.49 PM

Charges: Man caused Burnsville building fire because girlfriend was late

The alleged arson fire displaced around 50 residents.

Famous dave granite city

Famous Dave's, Granite City owner sold for $200 million

The owner of Famous Dave's, BBQ Holdings, is based in Minnetonka.

Alanna McLean

Appeal to find missing northern Minnesota woman

Alanna McLean was last seen this past weekend.