Winnipeg-made film documents the tiny, tenacious mosquito

They're in your backyard, at the cottage, and now, mosquitoes are coming to a small screen near you.

Buzz. . . is now available on MTS Stories from Home (video-on-demand)

A somewhat larger-than-lifesize mosquito at Komarno, MB (Ivan Hughes)

They're in your backyard, at the cottage, and now, mosquitoes are coming to a small screen near you. 

Buzz… a short documentary about the mosquito by Winnipeg filmmaker Angela Heck, is now available to MTS subscribers through Stories from Home (video-on-demand).

"The mosquito is such a big part of our psyche, part of our identity. You have to deal (with it), there's no other choice," said Heck.

Heck spent ten years in Vancouver, then moved back to Winnipeg. That's when she realized that we have very unique ways for dealing with the mosquito, like installing screens on our windows. She notes that just the mention the word 'mosquito' sets people talking for hours. 

The film follows the mosquito through all the seasons, using documentary footage and featuring University of Manitoba's Dr. Terry Galloway and former Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart, as well as ordinary people telling stories about mosquitoes. Where else is the city's entomologist known on a first-name basis?

Heck points out that those tenacious creatures have been around since before the dinosaurs.

"I was starting to characterize them as the evil spy who's one step ahead of everything that's trying to kill it. They're a little bit cagey, they're sneaky," she said, laughing.

There's even a theatre company that named itself after a fogging area, zone41. They make a point of making a reference to mosquitoes in each production.

Heck agrees that the fact that we have to battle mosquitoes helps build our reputation as being tough and resilient. She says, while no one would be sad to see the mosquitoes go, they do contribute to the food chain and it may not be desirable to get rid of them.  

"I always remark on the hardiness of Winnipeggers, the old 'what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.' If you can live here, you can live anywhere," she said.