GOING NATURE’S WAY
By Kate Crowley
It could be the soundtrack for a horror movie……a faint, high pitched whining, that grows louder as you look around and in a panic begin to run for your life. That is what life has become here in northern Pine County (and possibly southern, and Carlton County). The mosquitoes this summer have taken over our minds and bodies. We are being held hostage day after beautiful summer day, by these blood sucking hordes hovering near every door and window.
Minnesotan’s love to brag and joke about the Mosquitoes (our state bird – yuk, yuk), but no one is laughing now. We seriously have no recollection of them being so abundant and fierce in any of our 30 years on this property.
June was blessedly beautiful and we sat on our deck in the evenings basking in the low angled sun and soft breezes. We congratulated ourselves again and again on our good fortune to live on a sand plain where water soaks quickly into the ground, leaving mosquitoes with less breeding habitat. And then the storms began; one after the other; torrential rains that filled every crevice and cranny with enough water to allow a mosquito explosion.
We are surrounded by so much vegetation on our property that there is no way we could ever hope to control all of the breeding habitat. I finally broke down today and hooked the hose to a spray bottle that says it will control these predatory insects. I hate using chemical warfare against nature, but in the areas closest to the house, I have had enough. Each time we open a door, it is like a vacuum that fills with mosquitoes, which then move into the house and attack us in each room.
All mosquitoes fall under the Genus Culex and Oder Diptera and I know you’ll be thrilled to know that there are over 50 species of the buggers in Minnesota. A little over half of that number like to bite humans. According to a recent report from Paul Huttner of MPR, climate change has already “increased by 34 days per year on average since the 1980s” (in the Twin Cities) the length of the mosquito season. That is based on the number of days with ideal temperatures and humidity for the mosquitoes to breed and seek food.Reproduction is one of the things they do best. A single female lays egg