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Buzz off! Wet weather has made mosquito season last longer

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This piece of news is really going bug you.

Mosquitoes are proving to be more of a pest than usual this summer in Minnesota, with the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District saying weather conditions are prolonging this mosquito season.

WCCO reports the season usually peaks around Fourth of July weekend, but the stormy and wet weather has "re-energized them," leading to more opportunities for breeding and feeding.

And parts of the state that were hardest hit by this month's storms, such as the Brainerd Lakes area, are proving to be the hotspots for the bugs, with the TV station noting they have plenty of damp, dark spaces to breed thanks to all the fallen debris.

The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District told KSTP areas in the Twin Cities near where the Minnesota River meets the Mississippi (at Fort Snelling) are also appealing to mosquitoes.

Areas where there are fewer, according to the TV station, include (but aren't limited to):

  • The area from the East St. Croix River Valley near Hudson, Wisconsin, down to southeast Minnesota.
  • John A. Latsch State Park
  • Beaver Creek Valley State Park

Tips to avoid mosquitoes

For anyone heading out into the wilderness in the coming weeks, Backpacker has suggestions for how to avoid mosquito bites – chief among them wearing long-sleeved and legged, loose-fitting clothing to limit skin exposure.

It also suggests camping in breezy spots and avoiding areas with a lot of standing water and groves of trees, which are bug havens.

WCCO recommends staying cool as the bugs are attracted to lactic acid and sweat, with other deterrents including avoiding perfume, wearing bright colors, and eating garlic.

In terms of bug sprays – a recent study by Consumer Reports found that the best repellents were those which contained oil of lemon eucalyptus or picaridin as their active ingredients, Today.com reports.

It was the first time the organization found the top performers do not rely on DEET (although two DEET products were also recommended).

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