Right on schedule, mosquitoes make us wish for winter

Good times, eh?

Jonathan Nackstrand / Getty images / File

Last evening was a perfect almost-summer Minnesota evening from what I could tell from behind the protective safety of the screen door to the deck, from which we’d earlier fled because of the mosquitoes.

Despite the mosquito control helicopter doing its thing at the park nearby last week, there was a major hatching of mosquitoes over the Memorial Day weekend.

Say what you want about it being -25 in January, but at least there are no mosquitoes.

“Minnesota has 51 kinds of mosquitoes and we don’t kill all of them,” Mike McLean, of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, told WCCO’s Esme Murphy. “There are only about 15 of them that spread disease and those are the ones we targets.”

OK, that’s a flaw, considering that — and we’re guessing here — 51 kinds of mosquitoes bite.

A few years ago, U of M biologist P.Z. Myers told MPR News’ David Cazares that there’s danger is trying to wipe out mosquitoes.

What this may mean is you get mosquitoes that don’t don’t spread malaria but you get healthier mosquitoes that do more biting. There’s nothing we can do that wouldn’t have unintended consequences. Biology is a tangled snarl. Everything you do affects everything else.

Mosquitoes don’t appear to be good for much. Myers noted, however, that they’re good for fish and Minnesotans seem to like fishing.

Let’s kill them anyway.

The old ways, the poisonous fogger I once used, are no longer acceptable, at least to me. So here’s a do-it-yourself method worth considering.

The New Orleans Times Picayune explains:

In a video posted on Ebaumsworld.com, Rojas uses magnets to attach a mesh screen to the back of a standard-issue box fan, the kind you can find in any big-box home improvement store. He uses a Max Flow air fan from Home Depot in the video.

Turn the fan on, and mosquitoes get sucked into the screen — a cool trick on its own, but you’re not done there. Next Rojas takes a spray bottle filled with 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol, diluted with water 50 percent by volume. Unplug the fan, spray the screen — while trying not to spray it into the fan motor — watch the mosquitoes die.

In the video, Rojas then shakes the screen out onto a white board, and (yuck alert) thousands of the dead bugs tumble out.

One mosquito-weary Times-Picayune editor tested the fan bug trap in his Seventh Ward backyard. The results: “It absolutely works, but my wife thought it was gross,” he said.

If you’re not willing to try that, take comfort: We’re only three months and 28 days from the likely first frost in the state.