Mosquitoes’ attack on Wisconsin


Ciaran Cole, Contributor

If you haven’t been bitten in the last fifteen minutes, you aren’t in Wisconsin. Mosquitoes are not only back, but they have also taken over Appleton! You can bathe in bug spray, wrap yourself up in mosquito nets, and lock yourself in your closet, but by no means are you safe. The situation has gotten so bad, sports events and school field trips have been canceled by A.A.S.D. schools. Some elementary schools have even issued indoor recesses as a precaution!

While a single mosquito bite can seem more of an annoyance than a health concern, it’s important to stay vigilant. West Nile Virus, a deadly disease, is being carried by some mosquitoes in Wisconsin. Recent reports confirm that two people in our area have contracted the condition. Several people across the state have been given the same diagnosis. While the virus is commonly transmitted to birds, it’s quite rare among humans. Since this has been the highest amount of cases in recent years, concern has been spreading among health officials. In fact, it’s not just Wisconsin suffering, a majority of states along the Atlantic Coast have been going through similar crises.

In addition to our state’s ongoing epidemic, mosquitoes pose many other health problems. Zika, La Crosse Virus, and Jamestown Canyon Virus are just a few other illnesses that have manifested locally in recent years. Another issue is with the mosquito bites themselves. Some people actually have allergic reactions to bites, which can range from mild to severe. In addition, reports have reached a consensus that bites are actually more painful and vicious when compared to years prior. Mosquitoes are called, “the deadliest animal known to mankind” for a reason!

Early September’s “winning” combination of warm temperatures and consistent rain are to thank for the boom in the population of Eastern Floodwater mosquitoes. Due to the high amount of stagnating water in the area, the pesky insects have been able to lay more eggs than usual. There are literally so many mosquitoes, bug spray has not been enough to deter them all! Thankfully, though the last two weeks have been warmer than usual, cooler temperatures next week should drive the mosquitoes into hibernation. As soon as temperatures start dropping below 50°F consistently, the bugs will be gone.

As the outdoors become too much of a challenge for the pests, it’s important to make sure your house is mosquito-ridden. While their natural habitat is outdoors, the insects won’t mind one bit rooming with you, inside your nice and cozy home. Here are some tips to help you against any remaining nuisances and ward off future attacks:

  • Use bug spray. Though they don’t all work, and even the best brands can’t guarantee you’ll be bite-free during peak season, sprays will leave you better off than your exposed friends. Buying a can will make your summer a lot more enjoyable. Make sure to get a formula that repels mosquitoes that carry West Nest Virus and follows E.P.A. guidelines!


  • Wear the right clothes. When it comes to mosquitoes, your outfit matters. The ideal type of clothing to wear consists of light colors and tightly woven fabric. Insects are attracted to blue and black colors, so dodge a bullet when you get dressed in the morning. If you prefer fashion over safety, good luck!


  • Don’t scratch at bites. Not only does scratching make your bites itch more, but it also causes inflammation of your skin. Don’t do it! Some experts claim that rubbing toothpaste on the bite area may help you against itching.


  • Inspect your home for stagnant water. Any stagnant water in your house or backyard is a lifeline to mosquitoes! Get rid of it! Check your bathrooms and kitchen for leaky faucets. It may surprise you what you find… Also, make sure no place in your backyard has rainwater or puddles somewhere. You don’t want your backyard to become a zoo full of blood-sucking critters!


  • Be smart! Use common sense when it comes to mosquitoes! Avoid peak activity time, which tends to be around sunset, while staying out of areas that are likely to contain swarms. Swamps and forests are must avoid areas! Also, keep your eyes and ears open… The chances are that you’ll see and hear a mosquito before you feel it bite you. Don’t be the person who gets bitten ten times before they notice anything.


Try these tips, and hopefully, you’ll feel safer. Remember that the best thing that you can do is be aware! Be sure to share any advice you have with others to ensure a mosquito-free season next year!