The mosquito rating in Winnipeg has jumped to "high," but the city has no plans to start fogging yet.
The so-called Adulticiding Factor Analysis (AFA), which the city uses to rate the mosquito situation, shifted from medium to high on Monday because one trap at Assiniboine Park collected 480 skeeters.
That pushed the average for the southwest corner of the city beyond 100.
But those counts skewed the citywide average, bumping it to 25, even though all other quadrants in the city were well below that.
"In response to the localized emergence in Assiniboine Park, we have been larviciding … to reduce the numbers," said city entomologist Taz Stuart.
Crews have been treating the shrubs, long grasses and areas in the park where mosquitoes rest during the day, he said.
For the city to start fogging, trap counts must have a citywide average of 25 for two consecutive days, and one city quadrant must be a count of near 100.
As of Wednesday, the citywide average was 27 with the largest single quadrant being the southwest at 53. The trap count at Assiniboine Park had fallen to 138.
"With hot temperatures expected this week, the current adult population will be naturally dying off [and] the population of new adults emerging is expected to be small," Stuart said.
That’s not soon enough for Art and Joan Cockshott, who live on Bower Boulevard. The pair said the mosquitoes have forced them inside, and they want the city to start spraying.
"To sit out on the back patio, even though the temperature is good, it’s too difficult really," said Art. "I fully support the spraying."
West Nile Virus not detected
Dr. Margaret Fast is a Medical Officer of Health for Manitoba Health. She said the province is testing Manitoba’s mosquitoes for West Nile Virus.
"So far, we have found none that are affected," she said.
Fast added there are a number of things people can do to reduce the number of mosquitoes near where they live.
"The best thing is don’t go outside between dusk and dawn," she said. If that can’t be avoided, use repellent and "eliminate the amount of standing water in your own yard," she said
Keeping grass short will also help, according to Fast.