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Stealthy, small, ankle-biting mosquitoes out in full force: Edmonton bug expert

Mosquitoes trapped within city limits confirmed to be carrying the West Nile virus.
File: mosquitoes. File / Global News

The City of Edmonton’s resident bug expert says the summer species of mosquito have hatched a few weeks early, after a later-than-usual start to the season.

“Those are the small, little, fast ankle-biters,” said Michael Jenkins, senior biological sciences technologist with the city.

“They’re a lot more stealthy than the earlier species and they’re able to get in there, get their blood meal and get away before you even realize.”

Edmonton saw a slow start to the mosquito season after a cool spring without much rain. The first hatch of spring mosquitoes didn’t happen until mid-May, two to three weeks later than usual, Jenkins explained.

“When we did get them… they were a lot more active than they would be,” he said. “It was nice and warm so they were out and plenty active when they were around.”

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READ MORE: Mosquito numbers low in Edmonton so far this spring

The warm weather has “burned out” the spring species, Jenkins said, making way for the summer mosquitoes to hatch earlier than normal.

“We’ve already got the summer species coming out now – those are the ones we’re seeing now. Recent rainfalls have triggered sporadic hatching of those in a lot of areas.”

Crews are out spraying in an attempt to reduce the number of larvae in standing water throughout the city. However, Jenkins said the mosquitoes will never be completely eliminated as it’s tough to keep them from coming into the city from outlying areas.

“We also get migration from outside of our program area. So especially when the wind is blowing, it can actually blow mosquitoes from 25, 30 kilometres away into the city itself,” he said.

“We’ve reduced them as much as possible to make the summer more enjoyable and more livable for the people living in the city of Edmonton.”

Watch below: Survive mosquito season in Edmonton with a few tips from Buzz Boss

Click to play video 'Survive mosquito season in Edmonton with some help from Buzz Boss' Survive mosquito season in Edmonton with some help from Buzz Boss
Survive mosquito season in Edmonton with some help from Buzz Boss