Manitoba

'Fight the Bite': Adult mosquito wave on the way in Winnipeg

With last weekend's rain and warmer temperatures on the horizon, the city says adult mosquitoes are about to burst forth from standing water ponds and start feeding on Winnipeggers.

Recent rains, warm weather mean Winnipeggers can expect more winged bloodsuckers in coming days, city says

Rain over the last 10 days and upcoming warm weather has the city asking Winnipeg homeowners to dump, drain, cover, fill or treat standing water on their properties to help curb the adult mosquito population. (Shutterstock)
Adult mosquitoes are about to burst forth from standing water ponds and start feeding on Winnipeggers, the city says.
Ken Nawolsky (right), pictured next to one of the city's nuisance mosquito program helicopters, said the Insect Control Branch is working hard to prevent a mosquito population boom that could come in the next week. (Sean Kavanagh/CBC)

While little pockets of the insects have already started popping up around the city, recent rains and warm temperatures on the horizon mean Winnipeg's adult mosquito population is expected to multiply and take to the wing in the next week or so.

Ken Nawolsky, the superintendent of the city's Insect Control Branch, said crews are working hard to stem the population boom before it happens.

"We are putting all resources into this," Nawolsky said. "Our crews are working 16 hour days, our four helicopters are flying and we are thankful [for] the forecast for the next seven days, where they are not calling for any additional rainfall."

The city's larviciding program has been hard at work the past few weeks and has helped keep mosquito numbers low this spring. The nuisance mosquito control program has been on the go since May 1, but the city said adult mosquitoes have started hatching due to the torrents of rain and snow that fell over southern Manitoba on May long weekend.

In light of the incoming warm weather, the city is asking members of the public to help "Fight the Bite" by keeping an eye on standing water on their properties. About 50 per cent of all of Winnipeg's standing water sites are on private property, the city said.
In April, the city said mosquito numbers are expected to be relatively low in Winnipeg this summer. (CBC)

The Insect Control Branch is asking homeowners to dump, drain, cover, fill or treat standing water with biological larvicide to keep the mosquito population at bay.

As for other problematic spring insects, forest tent caterpillars are expected to do little damage this year. The city continues to keep an eye on the larvae, which are feeding on leaves in tree canopies across the city.

Homeowners are responsible for controlling caterpillars on their own property, which they can do by hiring a contractor or spraying their trees with Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki), a product that can be found garden centres across the city.

Anyone interested in registering their properties as a nuisance mosquito fogging buffer zone can stop by the Insect Control Branch at 3 Grey St., call 311 or email the city at 311@winnipeg.ca.

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