Where are the mosquitoes?

Many are struggling to remember a season with so few mosquitoes -- often jokingly referred to as the Wisconsin state bird.
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 2:36 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s a question we’ve heard repeated over and over this summer: where are all the mosquitoes?

Not than anyone is complaining about a lack of buzzing around their ears.

They are often one of the few downsides to our Wisconsin summers, and yet this summer, many are struggling to recall a season with so few of the pesky insects.

“Yes never, I mean this is incredible, incredible year, no mosquitoes until a week ago,” says Ken Tisch from Black Creek, visiting the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

“I can’t remember such a nice summer as far as mosquitoes go and it was so much so I was a little bit puzzled about it and I was wondering if maybe they had their own pandemic,” adds UW-Green Bay’s Dr. Mike Draney, a biology professor and expert on all types of insects.

Draney says weather is always the biggest factor in determining mosquito populations.

And the weather this summer has been a blessing, starting with the late arrival of spring.

“It delayed the beginning of the reproduction of the mosquitoes and so that kind of put them behind in terms there’s only a few of them that survived the winter and then they have to reproduce for several generations to get to the enormous numbers that bother us, and so that late spring was good for us, and then it was the dry early part of the summer that I think was really important, right when they usually are reproducing like crazy in June and July, early July at least, it was quite dry here,” explains Draney.

But just because this summer has been a great one for the overall lack of mosquitoes, that doesn’t necessarily mean we will be so lucky next summer.

“The ability of mosquitoes to reproduce is amazing, they can go from two mosquitoes to a billion in a few months and so really if the conditions are right, we could have a terrible mosquito season next year,” says Draney.