Saskatchewan

Regina mosquito count 45 times last year's rate: city report

The number of blood-sucking mosquitos is on the rise in Regina, and it's now far beyond last year's average.

Mosquito population in Regina peaks in July, but this spike far outshot average

The number of blood-sucking mosquitoes is Regina right now far exceeds the average for this time of year. (Arnulfo Franco/The Associated Press)

If you've got an itch on every inch of your body from an abundance of mosquitoes, you're not alone. 

The number of mosquitoes being caught by the City of Regina in its traps has increased since early June, and now averages more than 48 times higher per trap than at this time last year, according to municipal data.

The city tracks the adult mosquito population with light traps hung in different areas of Regina.

While mosquito levels rise in June and peak in July, the sudden spike has far outshot the historical averages. 

Maegan Krajewski said she's noticed an increase at the North Central Community Gardens, which she runs as the co-ordinator. 

Krajewski said she's physically felt the difference this year in contrast to past years. After hearing this year's number —an average of 293 mosquitoes per trap rather than last year's six — she laughed, saying "I anecdotally support that finding."

The number of mosquitoes was lower than average coming into June, but suddenly spiked to a point far beyond the historical average. (City of Regina)

"When I'm out here, I usually have my bug spray here, and I've noticed … when people have popped by to volunteer or to check it out that everybody's kind of, like, swatting themselves and noticeably being eaten alive," Krajewski said. 

"I have to wear bug spray every day. Most years I don't. Maybe there will be like one day [in most years] that's particularly bad, but this year really seems like they're after you." 

In mid-June, Russell Eirich, the city's manager of open space services, said he expected what were then low numbers to rise.

"I'm sure we're going to see a really interesting spike," Eirich said. "We know that there's a lot of mosquitoes out there, and I'm sure that our counts are going to confirm that."

Rural areas outside of Regina are also facing an increased number of mosquitoes—as much as 26 times the average number of mosquitoes per trap compared to last year. (City of Regina)

The city says that there were a total of 3,511 mosquitoes caught from June 28 to July 2, in comparison to 77 over that period last year.

Regina also monitors bodies of water to check for mosquito larvae and uses a bacterial agent called VectoBac — which is harmless to pets, fish, humans and other wildlife — to kill the larvae.

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