Mosquitoes might just be the one big downside to summer. The pesky insects can ruin camping trips and turn baseball games into a ducking and swatting fiasco.
And yes, mosquitoes can even put a damper on young students’ favourite time of the day: recess.
“I just want to run away,” eight-year-old Emmanuel Claydon said.
His classmate has a different approach.
“Whenever they’re on me I usually just slap my arm and try to get them away,” Abby Redmond explained. “Slap them in the air or slap them on my arm.”
Still, her aggressive technique doesn’t mean Abby’s avoided bites entirely.
“Whenever I feel an itch I just go for it and then it just… doesn’t stop,” she admitted. “When I itch them it feels good but then it gets itchier… To itch or not itch? I don’t know.”
Benjamin Villeneuve described the bugs as a “pain in the butt.”
“They’re pretty annoying,” he said. “When you get one, it’s just exhausting. There’s nothing you can do.”
WATCH: It may surprise you to know the number of mosquitoes is average for this time of year, but what’s different is the type of mosquito out there. Kent Morrison explains.
Until recently, Edmonton was fairly mosquito free this season. That is, until the big rain event at the end of May.
“We essentially had almost no rain throughout all of April and into the early part of May and so we had very, very low mosquito populations because of that,” the city’s bug expert Mike Jenkins said. “But then, the rains came in, triggered the hatching, the mosquitoes developed after that and now we’re seeing the first group of those mosquitoes coming out of that particular situation.”
But, as opposed to years past, people will come across day-time mosquitoes and the dusk and dawn variety at once.
“The unusual situation this year is we’ve got both those spring species and the summer species hatching in the same rainfall event, so we kind of got both populations all coming out at once,” Jenkins explained. “We have both some aggressive day-time biters and we have our summer ankle-biters all in this population here.”
“It was so dry, we had basically no spring hatch at all… We basically had no mosquitoes at all until this last rainfall event in May and that triggered both our spring and our summer hatches at the same time.”
The good news is we aren’t seeing a higher overall mosquito population for this time of year.
Jenkins also said the city is already seeing a decline in the day-time biters, whose life cycle isn’t that long.
Also, the fact that Edmonton has seen fewer rain events in general means fewer areas of sitting water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.