Flooding rains are just what mosquitoes have been waiting for

CREATED May 15, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - Better start stocking up on bug spray.

Heavy spring downpours have left standing water in areas that are normally dry. That means in a couple of weeks, nuisance mosquitoes - the ones that feed on your blood - will likely be out in full force.

"It depends a bit on temperature, but in [Wisconsin] we often see our first big batch of mosquitoes around Memorial Day weekend," said said P.J. Liesch, manager of the Insect Diagnostic Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "And I'm thinking with the rain that we've been having lately we're probably right on target with that date. Probably Memorial Day weekend I'd expect we're going to start seeing some mosquitoes in pretty good numbers."

There are more than 50 mosquito species in Wisconsin, but the really annoying ones love wet, rainy weather. 

"The nuisance mosquitoes are waiting for situations like this where we get a lot of rainfall in those areas that are normally dry, [which] pool up with water," Liesch said.

That allows mosquito eggs to hatch. Adult mosquitoes emerge two to three weeks later, which means they should be buzzing around just in time for your Memorial Day picnic.

"General precautions like having mosquito repellent on, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants...can help quite a bit," Liesch said.