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How to Repel Pesky Michigan Mosquitoes

How to Repel Pesky Michigan Mosquitoes – Michigan mosquitoes population info and how to avoid mosquito bites. Box fans, DEET info, West Nile info.

As you could probably guess, Detroit, Michigan is one of the worst cities for mosquitoes in the entire country. I spoke with Pest Control Expert Kelley-Tunis to find out more about the Michigan mosquitoes population and how we can avoid mosquito bites. One mosquito solution is odd but highly effective.


Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Is there any way to make your kids less attractive to mosquitoes?

Pest Control Expert Kim Kelley-Tunis – Dress your kids in light-colored, loose-fitting clothes, so when you go out, that will help reduce your potential for mosquito bites. Use an approved repellant like DEET material. DEET is one of those materials that is approved by CDC for use on everyone in the family, including children above the age of 2-3 months. Plan your activity outside of those dawn and dusk times which are prime mosquito periods. And, if you’re outdoors, use a fan. A box fan is a great way to help keep mosquitoes away from your family because they’re such weak flyers.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – If you’re having a yard party, what can you use to detract and repel mostquitoes from coming into that environment, other than just the box fan?

Pest Control Expert Kim Kelley-Tunis – I would use the box fan more than anything. I know there certainly is citronella candles out there, citronella oils… one of the challenges with both of those products is that really for them to be very, very effective you need to have a lot of citronella in them, and most times the levels of citronella really aren’t as effective as using an on-person product such as DEET.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – So, DEET truly is safe for kids?

Pest Control Expert Kim Kelley-Tunis – The American Pediatrics recommends you can use DEET for children about 2-3 months of age.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – How likely is it to get West Nile virus, and how can we avoid it?

Pest Control Expert Kim Kelley-Tunis – Well, since it was first discovered in 1999, 28,000 cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed. Of those 28,000, 1,100 have resulted in death. It’s something that certainly we all need to be vigilant of. Mosquitoes are a pest of significant public health concern. But, not only just West Nile Virus. You gotta think about… mosquitos can also transmit a number of different Encephalitis strains, as well as if you have pets, mosquitos transmit heartworm disease in both dogs and cats.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – So, what are the best ways to avoid transmitting the diseases?

Pest Control Expert Kim Kelley-Tunis – For humans, the DEET. For pets, they now sell a number of different on-animal repellants as well.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – What are some outdoor and indoor hotspots for mosquitoes?

Pest Control Expert Kim Kelley-Tunis – Yeah, the indoor hotspots… anywhere around windows and doors. If you have openings or gaps around windows and doors, those are areas where mosquitoes can move into the home. The garage is another indoor hotspot you need to be concerned with because mosquitoes will do a lot of resting in those areas. So, an easy thing to do is close the garage door when you’re not active. In the outdoors, look for areas of heavy vegetation, such as ivy, shrubs and trees… planted close to the home. That thick vegetation will hold moisture. Remember, mosquitoes only need about one to two inches of water to breed. They tend to rest a lot underneath these leaves. So, if you trim these back you can to reduce the mosquito population and that potential for breeding. In addition to that, look for pet water bowls, bird baths, anything that will hold water… gutters, down spouts. I have kids. They tend to leave toys outdoors, kiddie pools, anything that will hold moisture and water, you need to make sure you’re emptying those out. Frisbees, make sure you’re getting rid of those sources for moisture. But, in addition, you need to make sure you contact a pest management professional that can come out and do a thorough inspection, and help you create a program that really is tailored to meet you and your family’s needs.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – How does Detroit and other areas of Michigan rank for mosquito infestations?

Pest Control Expert Kim Kelley-Tunis –  Michigan mosquitoes were really pretty bad last year. You know, it was interesting in that Orkin creates a top 20 list every year and there were at least two cities in Michigan that landed in that top 20 list. That also correlated to the fact that Michigan had an above average rainfall for 2013. So, certainly, Michigan is a hotbed for mosquito activity.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms: Lucky us… Michigan mosquitoes are the worst!

Worst cities and states in the United States for Mosquitoes


  1. Atlanta, Georgia
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. Washington DC
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  6. Boston, Massachusetts
  7. Houston, Texas
  8. Nashville, Tennessee
  9. Charlotte, North Carolina
  10. Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas
  11. Richmond, Virginia
  12. Miami / Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  13. Grand Rapids / Kalamazoo / Battle Creek, Michigan
  14. Memphis, Tennessee
  15. Columbus, Ohio
  16. Cleveland – Akron, Ohio
  17. Huntsville / Decatur, Alabama
  18. Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota
  19. Norfolk / Portsmouth / Newport, Virginia
  20. Albany / Schenectady / Troy, New York


About Pest Control Expert Kim Kelley-Tunis
Kim Kelley-Tunis has spent her entire career surrounded by pests and insects. As technical services director for Orkin, she leads education and training for the company’s technical services team. She also helped start an internet-based university geared toward the pest management industry. Kelley-Tunis has been a featured speaker at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the American Institute of Baking. She is also a contributing columnist to Pest Control Technology (PCT) magazine and has written articles for many magazines and journals, including Pest Management Professional magazine.

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