Saskatchewan

Regina sees below-average mosquito population in May, June

It’s mosquito season in Saskatchewan, and as the rainy weather creates a better environment for insects to breed, the City of Regina is offering some advice for residents to keep the bugs at bay.
A mosquito feeds on a person in an undated image. The City of Regina says there may be an increase in the mosquito population over the next couple of weeks. (Daniel Peach)

It's mosquito season in Saskatchewan and as the rainy weather creates a better environment for insects to breed, the City of Regina is offering some advice for residents to keep the bugs away. 

"If you're got a rain barrel in your yard and you're collecting rainwater, it's a good idea to use that rain barrel water as quick as you can," said Ray Morgan, manager of parks and open spaces for the city.

"If you can't, I would suggest putting a fine mesh over top, because mosquitoes will find any opportunity to find water and they'll lay their eggs in anything possible. 

"Sometimes it's also good to flush out your gutters and along your eaves, because they can hold a bit of water. And if there's any standing water in your backyard, flush it out. Dry it out. Try and push it out as best you can."

Morgan also urged city residents to be vigilant about how frequently they water their lawns, since over-watering can also create an attractive environment for mosquitoes.

According to a new report released by the city, Regina has seen fewer mosquitoes than usual so far this summer, falling below the historical average for May and June.

All the mosquito traps set up within the city have caught fewer mosquitoes this week than they did last year — only the traps in rural areas to the north and east caught more. However, Morgan says this is largely due to weather conditions, so the mosquito population may well increase in July. 

A report released by the City of Regina has found that the mean count of mosquitoes per trap in 2020 (shown in red) has been below the historical average for May and June. (City of Regina)

"Over the past two months, we've had fairly dry, drought-like conditions up until last week," he said. "Finally [we] got some moisture for the gardens, which is very helpful, but that moisture comes along with standing water bodies. … With that amount of precipitation that we got last week, we're looking at an increase [in the mosquito population] over the next two weeks."

To help control mosquito populations, the City of Regina has also been using a natural insect control called Bacillus thuringiensis, which kills mosquito larvae without harming many other beneficial insects such as dragonflies. 

Since Regina's mosquito season tends to peak in mid-to-late July, Morgan offered some tips for people to avoid getting bitten over the next few weeks.

"For your own protection, wear loose clothing [and] avoid peak hours of time," he said. "They like coming out first thing in the morning and also towards the evening, if you can avoid those hours.

Morgan said people may also choose to use mosquito repellant. 

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