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'Intolerable' mosquitoes possible in Manitoba

Staff writers
June 1, 2012 — Winnipeg could face in an 'intolerable' number of mosquitoes this year after recent rainfall across the city.

Early arrival of mosquitoes doesn't mean it will be an overall bad season for the bugs
Early arrival of mosquitoes doesn't mean it will be an overall bad season for the bugs

A dry start to spring resulted in fewer bodies of water and consequently less sightings of the pesky bug.

Despite the late start however, the reprieve in Winnipeg may be over. Recent rainfall has created the potential for a large population of adult mosquitoes.

"Throughout the month of May we've received approximately 85-130 mm of rain and this of course has caused some significant changes," says Taz Stuart, Entomologist with the City of Winnipeg. "We have additional water bodies out there and this has now created a potential for a large emergence of summer nuisance mosquitoes."

That's quite the change from last year when little rain resulted in few mosquitoes.

"It was easy to run a larvicide program then and this year we're looking at challenging conditions."

Stuart says that cooler temperatures at night and reduced heating throughout the day could help to slow the larval development.

"And then we should be able to get to all of the sites over the next 7-14 days and reduce that potential population."

If conditions don't improve residents will consider it "intolerable," he adds.

A staff of about 150 people combined with four helicopters are working to control and treat possible breeding sites throughout the city. Homeowners are also encouraged to get rid of any standing water in their yard to help reduce the mosquito population.

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