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They're back: Mosquitoes out in full force

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It's swatting season again – the mosquitoes are back in force after a weekend of warm weather and recent rains.

Mike McLean of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District told WCCO there are "real significant mosquito numbers in the northern tier of the metro area," including the northern parts of Anoka, Hennepin and Washington counties.

This first big round of mosquitoes is the first one of the summer season, he said. And from now on, whenever it rains, another brood of the biting pests will hatch.

Here's a factoid to ponder: Mosquitoes can go from an egg to an adult in just seven days.

The MMCD has been out since early May, treating 120,000 acres of potential mosquito breeding grounds in the metro area in an effort to prevent the buggers from hatching in the first place.

Now that more adult mosquitoes are around, the agency will target areas with heavy numbers of the bugs from now until September, MPR News reports.

Their goal is to reduce the number of mosquitoes by about 75 percent, McLean told MPR.

Not only are mosquitoes an annoyance, some varieties carry diseases like West Nile virus and certain strains of encephalitis.

Last year there were 79 cases of West Nile virus in Minnesota, and three people died of the illness, according to the state health department (county-by-county map/stats here). That compared to 70 cases and one death in 2012.

MPR News has several tips on how you can limit the mosquitoes near your home, including: dumping out any standing water in things like old tires, wading pools or buckets; changing the water in your bird bath at least once a week; putting a tight screen on top of rain barrels to keep the insects out; and cutting weeds and tall grass to help reduce mosquito habitat.

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