Skip to main content

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


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

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

unsplash football helmet ground

Judge upholds star QBs suspension for state championship game

Sam Backer, of Chatfield Senior High, won't be allowed to play in Friday's title game.

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.