Edmonton's dry weather a factor in lower mosquito count: expert
EDMONTON -- If you have noticed fewer mosquitos than normal while out on a stroll in Edmonton’s river valley, it's largely due to the lack of precipitation, an expert says.
Weather conditions this spring have been hot and dry, making the environment less suitable for mosquitos, according to Pest Management Coordinator for the City of Edmonton Mike Jenkins. He said the lack of rain has resulted in a delayed need for the mosquito patrol program.
“This season has been one of our strangest in terms of mosquito population. This has been the second year in 40 something years we haven’t had a spring program,” said Jenkins.
Edmonton has close to 30 different types of mosquitos but both the spring and summer pests have been fewer in count. At the moment, the program has completed very little ground treatment and is undecided on whether the helicopter will be used for aerial treatment targeting mosquito heavy areas.
“We have just begun to see the first mosquitos of the season starting to emerge,” he said, adding the spring mosquitos are very low in number and he is not expecting more.
“Typically we need about 30 to 40 milimetres to really trigger a substantial widespread hatch of mosquitos,” he said.
With July nearing, Jenkins says Edmontonians might start to see more of the summer mosquito, which he describes as small and stealthy – the kind that nip your ankle.
For Scott Adams, an Edmonton resident who enjoys exercising outside, he said the lack of mosquitos is a positive.
“Considering we’ve been inside for how many months. We want to get out and the last thing we want is to be shoved back in because the mosquitos are outside,” he said.
Although the pesky insects may be seen as a nuisance, they are important an important species.
“Mosquitos are a good food source for a lot of other organisms so they have an important role in the ecosystem. They are also pollen eaters,” said Jenkins.