The hot, dry summer may have given Regina residents a break on mosquitoes, but it is now responsible for swarms of maple bugs.
Russell Eirich is in charge of pest control for the City of Regina and he said the number of calls they have been getting each week to deal with maple bugs in public spaces is increasing slightly.
“If you’re around trees that are maple trees or the box elder trees then yes, you will see some more maple bugs, probably a little bit more than usual. But if you’re in a yard that does not have maple trees you probably won’t notice anything like that,” Eirich said.
Those who are seeing a lot of maple bugs now can expect the problem to get worse as the weather cools down.
“It will be around the fall when they really start to congregate and you’ll see the adults be more active,” Eirich said.
Right now those bugs will be looking for ways to get warmer, so they will likely clump up around windows or cracks in foundations. Eirich’s advice to homeowners is to make sure all cracks and windows are sealed to prevent maple bugs from getting inside.
“The other thing that you can do is in the mornings when it’s nice and cool you can take your shop vac and just suck them up, that’s a nice easy way to do it,” Eirich commented. “You can use some insecticides as well, but probably just using your shop vacs is probably just as effective.”
Gopher populations spiking over last two years
People also may have noticed a lot more gophers popping up around the city with populations of the pesky rodents spiking over the last two years.
Eirich said the city does a gopher blitz every spring to treat holes along ditches with poison in order to try to prevent them from getting into parks and sports fields.
Despite those efforts, crews respond to an average of 100 calls about gopher holes in those public spaces throughout the summer, at which point, they’ll use an agent that suffocates the rodents.
“So 2016 we treated about 5,000 holes, 2017 we treated a little over 18,000 holes so you can see how much it jumped,” Eirich said.
While he hasn’t tallied up the numbers for this season, he expects they will be on par with the 18,000 holes the city treated last summer.
According to Eirich, gopher populations usually go up and down following a cyclical pattern and right now we are seeing them rise.