Brace for 'crazy' mosquito season, people in flood zones warned

The worst of the flooding may be over, but Montreal entomologist Paul Maloney says residents of flood zones should expect two to three times more mosquitoes than usual in the next six weeks.

Entomologist says soggy spring could mean 2 to 3 times more mosquitoes than usual

Flooding like these Laval residents experienced on May 11 may now be a memory, but entomologist Paul Maloney says residents of flood zones should expect two to three times more mosquitoes than usual in the next six weeks. (Credit Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

A Montreal entomologist says places in Quebec affected by flooding should expect two to three times more mosquitoes than usual this year.

Paul Maloney, owner of the Dorval-based company Eco Bug Doctor, told CBC conditions in flood zones are ideal for mosquito breeding.

"We've had a rather wet spring. The soil has been saturated, so I'd say we're probably lined up for a lot of mosquitoes," Maloney said.
Eggs lying dormant for seven or eight years may finally hatch because they've been exposed to water due to flooding. (Dr. Burkitt-Cadena)

'Crazy year'

Mosquito eggs need water to hatch. Maloney said most years, there are some eggs near the tops of ditches and ponds that don't hatch because they dry out.

But those eggs don't die. They lie dormant until a year like this one where they're immersed due to the higher water levels, giving them a chance to hatch.

Maloney said that means a stockpile of eggs that have been dormant for seven or eight years could finally hatch.

"On years where water goes exceptionally high, then you get more hatchings, and then you get crazy years of mosquitoes," he said.

He expects this infestation of mosquitoes will peak in the last week of June.

About the Author

Steve Rukavina

Steve Rukavina is a journalist with CBC Montreal.