Michigan mosquitoes getting worse? Here’s how to find, fight them

Mosquitoes can lay eggs in just milliliters of standing water

How to find and fight mosquitoes near your home.
How to find and fight mosquitoes near your home.

It may feel like mosquitoes are worse than ever this summer -- and that’s because they are.

Southeastern Michigan has been hit hard with rain and flooding this summer. That wet weather has created more spaces for mosquitoes to lay eggs, sometimes in places you wouldn’t even think to look.

Entomologist Mark Vanderwerp with Rose Pest Solutions says if you’re experiencing mosquito issues, look up: They may be laying eggs in your gutters.

“Gutters are designed to carry water,” Vanderwerp said. “If they get backed up ... I’ve literally seen thousands of mosquito larvae in my gutters.”

Vanderwerp suggests removing any build-up in your gutters to help eliminate places where mosquitos can lay eggs.

The entomologist also suggested checking your trees for mosquito eggs. Older trees have notches and holes that organic debris can build up inside of. Vanderwerp says if that debris gets wet enough, certain mosquitos will use it for a development site.

Related: Let’s talk about Michigan mosquitoes: Are they eating you alive? Here’s what to know

At his own home, Vanderwerp also noticed a problem with water pooling on a weed barrier in his yard. The solution? Vanderwerp says to flip the weed barrier or tarp over, take it off or poke a hole in it so that any water can drain.

Mosquitoes may also lay eggs in your catch basin, though you may not have as much control over that site. Still, some cities or townships will have companies treat them with larvicide. If not, you might be able to treat them yourself -- just check with your local public works department first.

Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross says the nice, dry spring we had in Metro Detroit this year is coming back to bite us ... literally.

More: Mosquito population explodes across Metro Detroit after recent storms, floods

Water from Michigan’s recent heavy rains has pooled up and is providing mosquitoes with ideal development sites. And it really doesn’t take much water to attract the insect, even little puddles on a swing, in a tire swing or on a tarp is all it takes.

“There are mosquitoes that will breed in as little water as that can collect in an empty snail shell,” Vanderwerp said. “So not much -- we’re talking about a couple of milliliters and mosquitoes can start using it.”

While mosquitoes do lay eggs in water, some of the insects actually lay eggs above the waterline.

If you have standing water that you can’t get rid of, like a bird bath or a pond, you might want to consider treating it with larvicide. You may also consider purchasing a mosquito-eating fish called Gambusia, which feed on things floating on top of the water and can eat about 100 mosquitoes each day.


Related: Dearborn residents deal with another major flooding event after recent storms


About the Author:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.