In horse race terms, we’re entering the final turn of summer, heading for a finish line no one wants to cross.
This is a predicament, pitting a frantic rush to do all we’d wanted against a flimsy hope that if we just move slowly enough, summer will last longer.
Now comes word that August may seem unending, what with reports of a reinvigorated mosquito population.
Climate Central, a New Jersey-based website that researches and reports the science and effects of climate change, analyzed how a warmer climate can mean expanded habitats for many pest species.
For Minneapolis, Climate Central found that there are 42 more “mosquito suitable” days now compared with 1980. (Duluth, the other Minnesota city analyzed, has 12 more days.) The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD) reports that phone lines are busy at a time when skeeter populations usually start to dwindle.
“This season in particular had been fairly normal,” said Mike McLean of the MMCD. But recent gully-washing rains have provided new habitats, collecting in the saucers of decorative pots, in low areas, in the upended beer bottle caps left out from last weekend’s party.
He said that mosquito control is a matter of timing, with treatment effective only in the larval stage when the pest-to-be is feeding. With the lakes now warm, an egg can mature into an adult in a week, “with only three or four days in the larval stage,” he said — a small window in which to apply treatment.
The good news is that the forecast for August calls for less rain, letting the soggy areas dry out.
Why, soon there’ll be frost warnings!
Seriously, what’s a few swats against the prospect of snow? □