Annoying buzzing, itchy bites: With the start of summer, the mosquito season starts again. But how many of the nuisances are out there – and do they have any use at all? An expert provides answers.

Jena (dpa/th) – There are currently fewer mosquitoes in Thuringia than usual at this time of year. One of the reasons for this is the spring drought, said insect expert Ronald Bellstedt from the Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) in Thuringia. Because of the low rainfall, ponds and ditches have dried up. “These pools of water are ideal for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.” But rivers and streams also carry little water and there are too few functioning floodplains and other wetlands.

In order to protect yourself against the bloodsuckers, Bellstadt recommends, among other things, covering rain barrels – because the mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in them. “It also protects our songbirds, which often drown in the barrels.” In addition, in areas with many mosquitoes, long clothing and fly screens on the windows could help.

According to him, however, electronic insect traps should never be used on the terrace or balcony: the traps attracted a large number of other insect species and killed them. “This even kills animals that are on our red list.”

And even if the mosquitoes are considered to be pests – according to Nabu expert Bellstadt, they also have an important function in the ecosystem: as food for birds, fish, amphibians, dragonflies or bats such as the mosquito bat. “If the mosquitoes disappear, it would also have serious consequences for other animal species.”