Calgary enjoying low mosquito count this year

There are far fewer mosquitoes than usual pestering Calgarians this summer, a city entomologist says.

Recent rain causes slight spike, but numbers are still low

A dry spring has contributed to low mosquito numbers in Calgary. (Tarek Mahmud/Flickr)

There are far fewer mosquitoes than usual pestering Calgarians this summer, a city entomologist says. 

Though the seemingly endless deluge of rain has contributed to a slight spike in the numbers, Jim Watts says they're still quite low. 

"We're having a pretty good year in terms of mosquito numbers," he said.

"I'm seeing 10-20 per cent compared to a normal year."

Watts attributed the low numbers in part to the work the city's been doing to keep mosquitoes at bay. 

"We did two aerial control programs following a rain event in late May and following the Stampede rain event, we did [another] control program," he said.

Mosquito specimens from sourthern Alberta are pictured here. In Calgary, mosquito numbers are down from normal. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

"It was a dry spring so that's impacting the low numbers as well," Watts added. 

If it seems like there are more mosquitoes in the air right now, it's all relative, he said.

Darren Amadio, while walking his dog in Nose Hill Park Thursday afternoon, says it's time to bring out the bug repellant.

Darren Amadio says it's time for bug spray. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

"With all the wetness now they're starting to come out quite a bit," Amadio said.

"We would definitely bring bug spray next time."

Dayne Squarebriggs says mosquitoes were a topic of conversation while he was walking his dog with friends.

Dayne Squarebriggs says the mosquitoes at Nose Hill Park Thursday were all he and friends could talk about. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

"A lot of mosquitoes, getting eaten alive. I was not prepared," Squarebriggs explained.

Meanwhile, Watts says it might be a matter of perception versus reality.

"It's been a low population year for mosquitoes. So all of a sudden now we're seeing a bit of an increase, so people are just assuming it's worse because it's relative to what they experienced earlier," Watts explained.

With files from CBC's Monty Kruger and Colleen Underwood