Have you been hearing a lot of mosquitoes buzzing past your ear this summer?  Get used to it.  Mosquitoes are having a very good year in West Michigan.  That means a bad year for us.

Want to fight back?  We have the information you've been itching for.

Heavy rains and standing water are a mosquitoes best friend.  We've had a lot of that this summer.  Michigan State University Entomologist Michael Kaufman tells wlns.com:

While this may not be the absolute worst year for mosquitoes, it does rank pretty high.  He says the heavy rain we had back in late July is to blame. A lot of these bugs lay their eggs in an area near a pond or ditch. Those eggs don't hatch until the area they're in floods. So when it rains, the water level rises and the eggs hatch.

So how do we keep the mosquitoes from feasting on us?  Here's some info from michigan.gov:

Products containing no more than 30% concentration of DEET will normally provide adults with sufficient protection.  Studies have shown that products with lower concentrations of DEET are just as effective, but they remain effective for shorter periods of time.

How much DEET do you need?  It depends how long you need protection.

  • 30% DEET will provide approximately 6 hours of protection.
  • 15% DEET will provide approximately 5 hours of protection.
  • 10% DEET will provide approximately 3 hours of protection.
  • 5% DEET will provide approximately 2 hours of protection.

But what about kids?  Is DEET safe to use on them?  Michigan.gov says:

No definitive studies exist about what concentration of DEET is safe for children.  However, no serious effects have been documented in children when DEET is used according to the product recommendations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and others indicate that DEET is safe to use on children 2 months of age or older.  Other sources suggest DEET use on children 2 years or older.  In all cases, the risk of acquiring mosquito-borne disease must be considered when deciding what precautions to take.  Non-DEET products have not necessarily been as thoroughly studied and may not be safer for use on children.

Get more info on how to fight off mosquitoes here.