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      Bug season worse than usual in the U.P.

      It's not unusual to have bug problems in the summer, but this year in Upper Michigan it seems the mosquito population is out of control.

      If you find yourself in the outdoors, you'll naturally want to be on the lookout for all sorts of pests, including ticks, black flies and even dragonflies.

      But this season, you might want to watch out especially for mosquitos. Experts say this is a particularly bad season for them.

      "That's definitely my personal impression. I was just over in Grand Marais last weekend and there were mosquitoes all over the place and I've certainly talked to lots of other people who have been encountering lots of them outside of the woods as well." said NMU Head of Biology John Rebers.

      Exactly how many more mosquitoes we have this year is unknown. But what is known is that record snowmelt and heavy rainfall are connected to the higher numbers.

      For example, we've had nearly 3 extra inches of rain in June alone compared to the average, up to 5.51 in. from 3.01 in. and that creates a lot of extra fresh and stagnant water, providing perfect breeding grounds for black flies and mosquitoes respectively.

      Any body of stagnant water is a possible mosquito breeding ground.

      "Any kind of puddle, even a bird bath, something, like that if it hasn't been changed for a while, anything that isn't moving around provides a place where the mosquito adults will come lay their eggs and then the larvae for mosquitoes float on top of the water." said Rebers.

      So, how do you protect yourself out in nature?

      Tried and tested methods like wearing long clothing and applying tons of bug spray always help, though there are more modern options available as well.

      "We have a screen house out here, which helps. When we first set up, we were killin' bugs like crazy but since then, it hasn't been that bad in the screenhouse and in the trailer." said retired schoolteacher Dick Carlson.

      According to the Organization For Bat Conservation , another reason for our insect problem could be the decreasing number of bats in the country.

      White nose syndrome is devastating bat populations, and bats have been know to eat an average of 3000 small insects a night.