Not a mosquito fan? This summer isn't looking good for you

As people get ready to spend more time outdoors, Nova Scotia zoologist Andrew Hebda forecasts our coming insect season.

The blood-thirsty insects thrive in wet, warm temperatures, says zoologist Andrew Hebda

It's going to be a good year for the mosquito population, according to a provincial zoologist. (Dr. Burkitt-Cadena)

If you love the outdoors but hate mosquitoes, don't expect any relief this summer.

According to zoologist Andrew Hebda of the Nova Scotia Museum, the weather this spring has been ideal for insects.

"We've certainly had bouts of warm weather and certainly lots of moisture," said Hebda. "So those are the two elements — moisture and heat — that help develop insect populations."

With Environment Canada forecasting a warmer than average summer, Hebda predicts this will be a great year for mosquitos — if you're a mosquito, that is.

"There will be lots and they'll be doing well," he said. 

"The more heat there is, the faster they grow and the more generations we can have." 

Insect-eating bats 

In recent years, Nova Scotia has lost most of its little brown bat population due to white nose syndrome. On an annual basis, the little brown bats will eat about 65 metric tonnes of insects, said Hebda.

"We are probably around five per cent of the bat population," he said.

"But that's still a significant number and those ones will be foraging in specific areas so they will have local impacts on those mosquito populations."

Little brown bats eat tonnes of insects in a year. (Getty Images)

If you want fewer mosquitoes in your local area, Hebda advises making your property less hospitable.

"Remember that wheelbarrow you left in the garden that filled up full of rain? Well that's the perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs."

Fewer blackflies?

When it comes to blackflies, Hebda said an early burst of warm weather could reduce their numbers for the rest of the season.

"Once temperatures get to a certain point, all the ones that have overwintered as pupae will emerge, all the girls will go out and feed and then that will be it," he said.

Last fall's bout of warm weather could mean fewer blackflies will hatch this spring. (ChinellatoPhoto/Shutterstock)

Last fall's weather patterns could also play in our favour when it comes to blackflies.

"It got cool, quite cool, and then it warmed up," said Hebda.

"When that happens, sometimes the blackflies will emerge in the fall ... so basically we get our spring emergence in the fall. You may get a very low blackfly season."