Mosquitoes continue to thrive thanks to record rainfall
Biologist says it will take several days of heavy frost to stop final wave of the pests
With above average temperatures and rainfall throughout New Brunswick in September, biologists say conditions were perfect for mosquitoes.
Environment Canada meteorologist Claude Côté says in September New Brunswick saw average precipitation levels 60 per cent above normal.
For instance, the Moncton area normally receives about 93 millimetres of rain but this year 128 millimetres fell.
Côté says Bathurst saw the highest precipitation amounts. The northeastern city receives an average of 72 millimetres of rainfall in September but last month saw more than twice that with 161 millimetres recorded.
Mosquitoes in N.B. still flourishing into October
The wet weather, combined with temperatures that are 0.9 degrees above normal, mean mosquitoes are continuing to thrive in the province.
Ron Aiken, a professor of biology at Mount Allison University, says conditions have been ideal for the blood-sucking insects.
"If we have a very dry fall for example you probably won't see very many mosquitoes because the water they would breed in would just not be there," he said. "It also requires a period of warm weather and we've had a reasonably warm fall so far and pretty damp, so all the places these things can breed are full of water."
Conservation officer Robert Dekany says by October, mosquitoes are usually starting to die off but this year has been a different story.
"We are out in the woods quite often still and just the other day — checking duck hunters from shore — and having to pull our hoodies up over our faces cause there are just so many still."
Aiken says it's just a matter of time until the pests are slowed down by Mother Nature.
"Until we get a good hard frost — they're what you call cold-blooded animals so obviously once it gets colder they slow down quite a bit," Aiken said.
The Greater Moncton Pest Control commission works to control mosquito populations throughout the summer but that program wraps up in late summer.
No one from the commission has been available. The commission is without a general director since Louis LaPierre stepped down after admitting to lying about his academic credentials.
Biologists reported a higher than average mosquito population in the Moncton area over the summer after record-setting rainfall in the month of July.