There have been five confirmed cases of Dutch elm disease within the city, which is above the historical average for four per year.
Russell Eirich, manager of forestry, pest control and horticulture, said they have found the cases scattered throughout the city.
All involve city-owned trees – one in the north, one in the North Central area, two trees in the Whitmore Park/Hillsdale area and one in South Albert Park.
The disease makes it hard for trees to get enough moisture, which causes leaves to dry up. The recent dry weather has made it easier to identify which trees have been affected because they have been drying out quicker than others.
Eirich said five trees isn’t a large amount at this time but that could change.
“Our worst year was in 2002, when we had 12 trees and we had the same comparable summer,” Eirich said. “I still expect to see a few more results come in.”
He noted there are still a couple of samples being confirmed in the lab.
Eirich said city crews are out looking for signs of Dutch elm disease throughout Regina.
The disease can be spread through the roots to nearby trees and elm bark beetles, which are often seen on elm firewood.
“Cottagers will often bring it back from cottage country,” Eirich said.
The city will continue to monitor for the disease until Labour Day weekend.
Mosquitoes at extremely low numbers
One pest Regina residents haven’t seen much of this year is mosquitoes.
The dry weather has played a factor in the lack of the blood-suckers this year.
Eirich said there is an average of 11 mosquitoes per trap this year. The historical average is 44. It’s a far cry from numbers in 1992, which saw 4,000 bugs per trap.
Eirich said his pest control crew usually has 29 people, with an average of 14 workers.
“Right now we’re running about six,” he said
He said some people have been transferred to help water trees throughout the city.
City focuses on other critters
While there has been a lack of mosquitoes in 2017, there are other critters the city is keeping an eye on – including maple bugs.
Eirich advised people to begin to looks for cracks and crevices on their homes. He said as the weather turns, the bugs will try to find their way into homes to stay warm.
He noted there are products to help deal with maple bugs if the insects try to get inside a person’s home.
The city has also seen a lot more gophers in 2017, finding double the average amount of holes across Regina.