A month of hot, dry weather kept them away, but now mosquito numbers appear to be spiking with a vengeance in parts of southern Saskatchewan.
Phil Curry is an entomologist and West Nile coordinator with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health says the mosquito numbers have been below normal for most of the summer.
“It really depends where you are, the numbers are quite higher out in the country where there’s a lot more standing water,” he said.
Right now those pesky insects are in a population boom due to recent heavy rain.
“To give you an example, I run a trap on our farm north of Moose Jaw and two weeks ago we were only catching 30 to 40 mosquitoes per night and now this past week we collected over 2,000 mosquitoes per night,” said Curry.
The majority of the mosquitoes the province is counting right now are just common pests, but Curry says they have found some of the culex tarsalis mosquitoes which may carry West Nile virus.
Most of the time dealing with mosquitoes is simply a nuisance.
“They are very irritating, they’re like everywhere outside, you cannot really fight them,” Rachel said after taking a walk in Wascana Park.
She says this her first summer living in Canada and dealing with swarms of these mosquitoes is a new experience.
“I try and hide maybe inside, and if I’m outside I keep on fighting with them and beating my hands,” she said.
During the middle of the day, the mosquitoes aren’t too bad at Wascana Park, but some people admit they are giving up on the great outdoors.
“The mosquitoes aren’t all that bad right now because we’re walking and we’re moving, but last night they were really bad,” commented one woman.
She says she did find a good alternative to strong chemical insect repellant.
“It’s like a coconut oil with lime, it’s got a really nice smell and it’s good for children, even babies – well maybe not babies, but at least a year old,” she said.
Russelle Eirich is the manager of pest control for the City of Regina and he says city crews are fighting back to kill off mosquito larvae.
“We’re trying to get to as many of those water bodies as possible and try to keep the mosquito counts down to a dull roar,” he said.
The city uses a type of biological water solution called Vectobac which contains a bacteria that is toxic specifically to mosquito larvae.
My cousin Jim is a farmer northwest of Moose Jaw. Tonight he was swathing and this is all he could see…I’d say the mosquitoes are out…~Holly~
Posted by Jack FM Regina on Wednesday, 12 August 2015