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They're back: Those annoying mosquitoes and black flies have come back with a vengeance in parts of Minnesota this summer.

If you think back to last summer, when just about the entire state of Minnesota was experiencing that widespread drought, while our lawns turned brown and dried up, and creeks, rivers and lake levels went down, one of the positive side effects (if you can call it that) was that the lack of moisture and rain meant there were fewer mosquitoes.

But, that's not the case in the Land of 10,000 Lakes anymore-- especially in parts of central Minnesota, along the North Shore of Lake Superior, and farther up north. Those areas received a lot of snow last winter, and the spring runoff combined with what was an unusually cold, wet April have all created a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes so far this spring and summer.

This KARE-11 story says that in the Twin Cities, Metropolitan Mosquito Control District  (MMCD) officials say the little buggers are, in fact, back in bigger numbers this year. But, while there are more of them than last year, the numbers this year still look to be down somewhat from 2019 and 2020. So, there's that.

However, in addition to mosquitoes, this MPR story says that it's the biting black flies that are the most problematic so far this year. The story talked to Dave Cizmas, who works as a forester for Lake County, Minnesota (which is located along the north shore, about 4 hours northeast of Rochester.) And he said, yeah, they're bad:

"There are literally hundreds around your head," he said of the black flies in the story.  "I literally have to wave them out of the way in order to be able to see through them because they're so thick," the story noted.

MPR also noted that things like mosquito and bug nets and mosquito sprays are tough for stores to keep in stock right now, so be sure to bring your own if you're headed up north for a weekend getaway any time soon.

Here at our place in northwest Rochester, we've been outside around our fire pit several evenings, and haven't noticed a lot of extra mosquitoes, bugs or gnats...yet.  But they're likely either out there, or will likely hatch here shortly, too, right?

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