Harsh winter leads to more mosquitoes

LISLE, Ill. (WLS) -- The current mosquito infestation is worse than usual for this time of year and some of the blame can go to all of the snow that fell during Chicago's rough winter.

Entomologist George Manning expects to have lots of mosquitoes to study this year.

"I think we're going to see an abundance of mosquitoes," he said. "We're already seeing that."

Experts say the weather pattern so far this year is the biggest reason we are seeing more mosquitos than normal. The pesky insects breed in water and there has been plenty of rain this spring. They hatch in dry conditions, which is also part of the area's current weather cycle.

"The melted snow, the early rains, the periods of dry spell with new rain," Manning said.

Mosquito abatement programs are getting underway in many communities and a big job ahead. Crew sprayed the grass and shrubs for mosquitos in advance before movie night at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

"We're in the mosquito's natural habitat, but for (Friday) night and for this weekend, we did just a little bit of a treatment program and we're out here enjoying the beautiful outdoors we have," said Jenelle Hardtke, Morton Arboretum.

Still, many parents are taking no chances, spraying their kids before dusk when the most mosquitos generally emerge.

"They're a pest, but I like summer, so I put up with it," said parent Sue Rozer.

"I'm getting bit right now while we're talking. I have three daughters so I can handle anything," parent Matthew Wrobel said.
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