Mosquito numbers not high enough to fog, city says
City of Winnipeg not set to spray unless trap counts increase
The city is asking Winnipeggers to do their part to get rid of nuisance mosquitoes, but officials said they have no plans to start fogging.
City officials put the call out to residents on Tuesday to get rid of any standing water on their property to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
Despite the call, city officials won’t be sending out the fogging trucks just yet.
In a press conference, city officials said trap counts are sitting at an average of 15 -- well below the 25 needed to deploy city fogging trucks
Trap counts must have a city-wide average of 25 for two consecutive days, and one city quadrant must be a count of near 100 in order to warrant fogging.
Instead, the city said, it is treating areas with permethrin where there are "localized emergences" of adult mosquitoes, like some cemeteries and parks. The city said permethrin is an environmentally friendly product made from chrysanthemum flowers.
The city’s top entomologist, Taz Stuart, said if temperatures stay where they are, trucks won’t be deployed any time soon.
"You get high temperatures and low relative humidity, they live shorter. If it’s the other way around -- high humidity and high temperatures -- they live longer," said Stuart. "So we are in good conditions right now."
Stuart said mosquitoes should die off after "they have a couple of blood meals, of course."
Regardless of trap count numbers, Winnipeggers are feeling the bite of nuisance mosquitoes.
"[I’ve noticed] a lot of mosquitoes this year — a lot more than last year," said Winnipegger Matthew Dyer, who was at Kildonan Park on Monday.
"I swell up when I get bit by mosquitoes so I notice more when they come out."
An entomology professor at the University of Manitoba said heavy rains are to blame.
"We’ve had a couple of nice, heavy rain falls and that really promotes the mosquito populations," said Terry Galloway.
While Winnipeggers are spraying and slapping to keep the pests at bay, the city says it will continue to monitor the populations.
About 150 staff and four helicopters are currently being used by Winnipeg’s Insect Control Branch to monitor the bug population.