If there’s one good thing the lack of rain has brought us this summer, it’s the downturn in mosquitoes.
Russell Eirich, the City of Regina’s manager of forestry, pest control and horticulture, said mosquito numbers are one tenth of what they normally are by this time.
Eirich added that since the mosquito count is down, so is the number of Culex Tarsalis mosquitoes, which carry west nile.
When it comes to the cost of managing mosquitoes, Eirich said they’ve saved some money. By now, the city would have had four orders of their $25,000 mosquito product. However, so far, they’ve cut that number in half, saving around $50,000.
At this point, Eirich believes those savings will be turned over to the city’s balance sheet at the end of the year.
Aphid numbers up
It seems Mother Nature has replaced our mosquitoes with another kind of bug: aphids.
Eirich said the small, sap-sucking insects are affecting a variety of tree species.
However, he said the good news is it’s easy to confirm if you have them.
“Touch the leaves of the tree. If it’s really sticky, you’ve got aphids and that’s the best way to identify it,” explained Eirich.
The city’s manager of forestry, pest control and horticulture added that they’ve even started spraying trees on “a request for service basis” around Regina.
Eirich said the warm, dry temperatures are to blame for the upturn of aphid numbers.
Wasps numbers on par with yearly average
While it might feel like there’s more wasps out there, Eirich said it’s just that time of year.
“What happens is their nests are getting larger, the wasps are getting a little more aggressive and trying to find a food source because they’re trying to support a very large nest,” Eirich explained.
The City of Regina has treated 26 wasp nests so far this summer, compared to 28 last year. Eirch said the city averages about 40 wasp nests a year.