May 28, 2014 6:46 pm
Updated: May 28, 2014 9:52 pm

Long, cool spring gives City of Edmonton early handle on battle against bloodsuckers


Watch above: Mosquitoes are emerging in Edmonton, but not yet in huge numbers. Fletcher Kent has more on the skeeter count and what the city is doing to keep the numbers down.

EDMONTON – It seems as though there’s an upside to the long, cool spring Edmonton has experienced so far, and it has to do with the number of mosquitoes flying around the Capital Region.

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“I think, largely, our program was more effective this spring than we usually have,” Mike Jenkins, biological sciences technician with the City of Edmonton, said of the city’s annual mosquito control program, which launched in April.

“The initial hatch that we’re getting now, the daytime biting species, is actually much later that usual.”

Jenkins says there’s been a slight increase in the number of daytime biters over the past week or so, but the later hatch has helped city crews get a handle on their battle against the bloodsuckers.

“Because we had a longer spring season and cooler temperatures our operations crew were able to get out there and control that population effectively.”

Ron Hore, who was golfing at Victoria Golf Course Wednesday, says he’s enjoyed being able to get out and hit a few rounds without worrying about the bugs.

“They don’t come out in this crazy kind of weather, just like us,” he said with a laugh.

“Out here on the golf course I haven’t seen any,” added fellow golfer Al Kemp.

But that doesn’t mean Edmontonians can do away with the bug spray just yet. With all the rain that’s fallen over the past few days, coupled with the warm, sunny temperatures expected this weekend, the mosquito population could soon be on the rise.

“Those are good conditions for developing mosquitoes,” said Jenkins.

But there’s good news for anyone planning on spending this weekend outdoors – Jenkins says while it is going to warm up, the larvae likely won’t hatch for another week.

“At this point those larvae are still in the aquatic stage, they’re not going to be out and biting yet,” he explained. “It will probably take them a week or more to actually get out and be on the wing and flying.”

City crews will be closely monitoring the mosquito traps throughout the Edmonton area and if the number of larvae increases, Jenkins says the helicopters will be brought in to spray.

Average Weekly Light Trap Counts of Female Nuisance Mosquitoes in the Edmonton Area – The Last Five Years:

Average Weekly Light Trap Counts of Female Nuisance Mosquitoes & Culex tarsalis in the Edmonton Area:

For more information on the city’s mosquito program, visit the City of Edmonton’s website.

With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News.


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