Dry weather means fewer mosquitoes in Edmonton, says Mike Jenkins
Low snowfall followed by dry spring means less breeding ground for mosquito larvae, says expert
The city's top "bug guy" has confirmed what you may have already noticed: there haven't been many mosquitoes in Edmonton so far this season.
"In terms of mosquitoes, we're doing really really well," Mike Jenkins, the city's biological sciences technician, said Friday.
But don't jump for joy just yet — Jenkins cautioned.
"When it's too dry for the mosquitoes, that creates a lot of stress for the trees and other plants and they have less resources to put into defences, which means all the pests that go after those ones — all the caterpillars everything else — also sort of take off."
"It's all kind of a balancing act," he added.
And it will only take one good rainfall to change it all, Jenkins said.
"It can all change in a moment's notice — one big rainfall and we could end up with a huge number of mosquitoes again within a week."
That unpredictability can make it difficult to forecast what the season may look like long-term, he said.
In the meantime, city crews are working to proactively prevent a spike in mosquito numbers. Jenkins said they are tracking rainfall across the city to identify areas of standing water, which are then treated to prevent larvae from developing.