FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The beginning of summer means the beginning of mosquito season. You may have seen them starting to pop out around the Interior. Standing water is what you want to look out for around your house, because lurking inside the water are mosquito larvae that will turn into adult mosquitoes, unless their water source dries up.
This may not look like much, but those wriggly things on your screen right now, are what will be bugging you this summer.
Mosquito larvae, and they're getting ready to emerge as the adult mosquitoes you love to hate. Derek Sikes, the insect curator at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, explains why he thinks this mosquito season could be worse than normal.
"A lot of snow is good for all kinds of over wintering organisms because it insulates wherever they're living, wherever they're overwintering, its much warmer, and of course the melting snow provides water, so those are indicators it will probably be a year with a lot of mosquitoes," said Sikes.
That's the bad news. The good news, aside from bugs buzzing in your face, and causing itchy bug bites, Sikes says here in Alaska, there are no potential health risks.
"I have no concerns about them drinking my blood because there's no diseases transferred between mosquitoes and humans in Alaska," said Sikes.
And because of that, Sikes says spraying your back yard with insecticides is not a good idea.
"If you're spraying a general insecticide for mosquitoes, you're killing thousands of other species that are just doing their job," said Sikes.
He says wearing long sleeves and spraying yourself with bug spray are better options to protect yourself, and protect the ecosystem, as mosquitoes prepare for their annual invasion of Alaska.
This second wave of mosquitoes should be emerging in just a few weeks.