Calgary predicts low to average numbers for mosquitoes this summer

Calgary officials are predicting a low to moderate mosquito season this year. Global News

Jogging along Calgary’s river pathways on a beautiful, sunny day, the last thing on Zoe Dahl’s mind is mosquitoes.

“I like to run. I like to run in the mountains a lot so I think I am probably more scared of grizzly bears than mosquitoes,” Dahl said with a laugh.

Sitting on a nearby bench, Wendy Bannerman says she can’t even recall seeing one this year.

“No not even one – yeah!”

But the city’s mosquito expert says that will change by the weekend as mosquito season has arrived.

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Alex Coker, an integrated pest management technician, says the numbers shouldn’t make you worry.

“We are expecting in terms of numbers low to average in terms of adults. And I think we should start seeing them in the next couple of days.”

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But depending on the weather, Calgary could see a lot more of the 30 species found in the city than is being predicted right now.

“A lot of species we have here are floodwater species. Some of their eggs can lay dormant in the soil for five or more years. So even if you have five really dry years and then one really wet year, then all those eggs are going to hatch. So it really just depends on how much rainfall we get.”

Coker says the city will collect and count mosquitos during the summer, including those that carry the West Nile virus.

Alberta Health says although serious illness is still rare, it appears to be more prevalent with age and one in five people infected will become ill.

Coker says it’s best to take precautions.

“It is always a good idea for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites for the full duration. You can do that by doing things like wearing long sleeves and long pants, wearing bug spray or potentially reducing your activity period to times where mosquitoes are not as active.”

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