Good news for Edmonton’s spring mosquito season
EDMONTON -- Edmonton’s mosquito expert has some good news for people wanting to spend time outdoors when the weather improves.
“We should have reduced numbers of especially the aggressive daytime biters,” said Mike Jenkins, the City of Edmonton’s Pest Management Coordinator.
“A lot of that snow melt was absorbed by the ground before the mosquitoes could actually develop in there,” he said.
There are about 30 species of mosquitoes found in Edmonton, some have already emerged.
“They’re usually big and slow. They’re, because it’s quite cool, they’re not very stealthy. They kind of land and it takes awhile to find a meal,” said Jenkins.
He said some species in the city have adapted to the colder weather.
“Some of them can hatch and develop in really cold water. You can even go through and break through ice on the surface of the water and find the larvae developing in the water underneath it.”
Jenkins said they come in waves, the next one includes the pesky daytime biters.
“Those are the ones we’ll see in the next few weeks,” he said.
Crews with the city’s Pest Management department are already working to reduce those numbers.
They have helicopters spraying areas on the outskirts of the city, crews on the ground and in trucks.
“Almost every mile of road around the city has two miles of ditch habitat that develops mosquitoes and huge numbers of mosquitoes can come out of those,” said Jenkins.
He said the spray used is only toxic to mosquitoes and a few related aquatic fly larvae. The only problem, every time it rains, the spray needs to be re-applied.
“We have to go back and retreat over and over again and that was one of the problems we had last July,” he said.
“Every time it rained we had to go back and start over again because it would just activate more eggs.”
As for the rest of the summer, Jenkins said it all depends on Mother Nature.
“It’s really hard to tell because things like the aedes vexans and that doesn’t matter so much what the environment is now, it depends entirely on rainfall.”
Those mosquitoes like warm, wet weather however Jenkins says if it’s hot and dry this summer, we can expect an influx of a different type of pest.
“The number of ants and yellow jackets gets really, really high.”