First blood: Winnipeg mosquito season on its way

Winnipeg's mosquito season will soon be upon us — or is already here, depending on who you ask.

Recent rain and warm-spell create great conditions for mosquito breeding

Winnipeg's mosquito season will soon be upon us — or is already here, depending on who you ask. 1:59

As if Winnipeg merely skipped spring in 2014, at long last it feels as balmy as it should.

But with the humidity and warmth comes an ominous and familiar swarm of blood-sucking buzzkills.

Mosquito season will soon be upon us — or is already here, depending on who you ask.

"Oh, it's arrived, it's time, it's that season already," said Winnipegger Kasia Dyszy.
At the Fort Garry Community Centre on Oakenwald mosquitos were already out bothering Winnipeggers (Leif Larsen/CBC)

Traps are showing low-to-no mosquitoes, but recent rain and warmth is creating the perfect conditions for mosquito breeding.

Bug spray isn't an option for the Dyszy’s six-week-old.

"He's new so we're trying to figure out how best to protect him right now."

Parents like Jimi Scharbonneau are grappling with the same problem.

"You don't want the little one to get bit and you don't want to get any mosquito-borne diseases."

City helicopters are on the usual campaign, eliminating the mosquitoes where they lay in standing water with larvicide. 

But people at Assiniboine Park Wednesday have already seen a first wave of the mini-winged beast in the park.

Kelly Gregorash said after months being cooped up indoors, the outdoors is already spoiled by the presence of mosquitoes.       

"I've been bitten a few times,” she said. “A nice, big bloody mosquito.”

Gregorash said she is watching the bugs around her young daughter very carefully, and questioned whether the city’s larviciding is adequate.

Taz Stewart on backyard bloodsuckers

No one at the city was available for an interview today, but Winnipeg’s former head entomologist Taz Stuart was keen to talk bugs.

"What we're seeing right now is those really large spring species adults," Stuart said.

Stuart said in the next seven-to-ten days we will see summer mosquito populations appearing.

"What's key is homeowners need to be looking in their back yards, looking for that saucer or cup, that low depression that has water holding, because those mosquitoes that develop in there are the ones that are going to be biting you"

Typically the Culex tarsailas mosquoito species that can carry West Nile aren't a real a threat until August.

Stuart said it's hard to predict how bad it will be, but at the Assiniboine Park there is some optimism.

”Because it's been such a late start to summer, maybe it won't be as bad as we think,” said Scharbonneau.