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Winnipeg fights mosquito infestation

June 3, 2010 — Heavy rainfall has left mosquito breeding grounds all over Winnipeg, and that means the insects could be a big nuisance this year.

Winnipeg could be facing one of its worst mosquito seasons - ever - because recent rainstorms have left pools of standing water all over the place, including some the size of lakes.

The city had a serious mosquito problem in July of 2005, but this year might be even worse.

'Some areas near Winnipeg got more rainfall this past weekend than they normally do all spring,' says Weather Network meteorologist Rob Davis.

And now mosquito season is right around the corner.


Over the next 10 to 14 days, a significant number of adult mosquitoes are expected to emerge, says Taz Stuart, an entomologist for the city of Winnipeg.

Insect control crews are trying to limit that 'to a level that is tolerable for the residents of Winnipeg,' he says. Larvicide is being applied seven days a week by helicopter and ground crews.

'Everyone's on it and it's going to be a big job ... to try and reduce the nuisance numbers that will probably come off from this rainfall we had over the weekend,' says Stuart.


The mosquitoes that are carrying West Nile virus, and could transmit it, are feeding off birds at this time of year. But in late June or early July, the second generation of mosquitoes will shift to feeding off humans.

Stuart says this year might end up being like 2007, when Winnipeg had its highest number of West Nile cases.

But there are steps you can take in an attempt to stay safe, starting with what happens in your own backyard. About half of mosquito breeding sites are on private property, and they are in spots you wouldn't think of, such as the top of a child's swimming pool.

'In the next week, several hundred mosquitoes can come out of that water,' says Stuart. He advises homeowners to take action against standing water: Dump it, drain it, cover it, fill it or treat it.

'I just hope we don't get anymore rain,' says Stuart. But more rain is exactly what's in the forecast. Light rainfall is expected until the weekend.

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