If you’ve been feeling particularly plagued by mosquitoes this summer, it may not be in your head. As the experts predicted, there are more mosquitoes this summer in Nova Scotia.
Zoology curator Andrew Hebda, of the Museum of Natural History, says it's been an ideal breeding season for mosquitoes, black flies and horse flies.
"The warmer it is, the faster they grow and also the faster they metabolize,” he said.
The warm temperatures are allowing insects to breed every 20 days, which is more than usual.
“So what we're doing is with these temperatures is we're accelerating their life cycles, so we're getting more life cycles, more groups of what they call cohorts coming through," said Hebda.
Another factor, he says, is that there are fewer animals around to eat them.
Hebda says white-nose syndrome killed between 90 and 95 per cent of Nova Scotia's bat population this year.
Hebda said brown bats are known to eat half of their body weight each night in insects.
"So you're looking at about three to three and a half grams of mosquitoes each night,” he said. “So if that group of mosquitoes isn't being consumed, it's still out there in the evenings."
There are also fewer day-time predators such as barn swallows and chimney swifts.
Hebda says relief will only come for people when the temperature gets cooler.
In the meantime, some people suggest that insects hate garlic and black pepper. So including some of that in your picnic lunch may not be a bad idea. Or you can always tie a Bounce sheet to your clothing.
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