Manitoba

Winnipeg prepares for mosquito season after significant rainfall

Mosquito season is expected to begin after two weeks of rain made conditions ripe for breeding, Winnipeg insect control staff say.

Insect control branch staff say they can't predict when fogging will be needed

Ken Nawolsky, Winnipeg's superintendent of insect control, says if people don't dump standing water on their property, it becomes the perfect home for mosquitoes. (Fernand Detillieux/CBC)

Mosquito season is expected to begin after two weeks of rain made conditions ripe for breeding, Winnipeg insect control staff say.

"With the significant rains that we received over the last 14 days, the summer nuisance mosquito species have hatched in high numbers in standing water," said Ken Nawolsky, superintendent of insect control.

With normal temperatures forecast, the second generation of spring mosquitoes will start to appear in the next five to seven days, Nawolsky said.

"Our current average [mosquito trap count] is zero. Please don't expect that to continue for the foreseeable future," he said.

The city will continue to check and treat the approximately 31,000 hectares of potential larval development sites. Nawolsky said they are also monitoring conditions to be prepared to implement a range of control measures, although he couldn't predict whether the fogging program will be needed any time soon.

The city wants residents to check and dump any water on their properties to prevent larvae from surviving. Nawolsky said even a small amount of standing water can make the perfect mosquito home.

In this roadside water there are lots of larvae waiting to become adult nuisance mosquitoes. (CBC)

Mosquitoes aren't the only insect the city is tackling, with forest tent caterpillars wriggling throughout the trees of Winnipeg.

City staff will continue to spray the trees until midway through next week, when the caterpillar's life cycle hits the pupal stage, Nawolsky said. They will emerge as moths about two weeks later.

The caterpillars are a nuisance bug and don't pose a risk to people or significantly harm trees. A healthy tree can recover from their damage in around three weeks, he said.

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