Mosquito numbers down, but tick count on the rise in Manitoba
It’s the time of year when the buzz of mosquitoes start to take over in Manitoba, but right now the mosquito trap count in Winnipeg is sitting at one.
“No water equals no mosquitoes.”
Taz Stuart is an entomologist with Poulin’s Pest Control and said the below average precipitation levels, along with the dry conditions have prevented the pesky insects from growing.
But just because we can’t see them, doesn’t mean they won’t be a nuisance later this summer.
“If it rains tomorrow, let’s say two inches of rain, that will produce enough water out there that mosquito eggs sitting in the grass lying dormant, or in those depressions, that will activate them. Because it’s so warm, you may get from egg all the way to an adult stage, in as little as five to seven days,” Stuart said.
Mosquito eggs can lay dormant for up to seven years, but Stuart said those eggs could hatch rapidly if we start to see water bodies build up in ditches or backyards.
The dry conditions aren’t stopping ticks from spreading.
Stuart said black-legged ticks, which carry lyme disease, have been out since the snow started to melt and they’re popping up all across Southern Manitoba.
Ticks can be found along trails, tree-lines, or grass-lines and can latch onto you as you walk by.
Stuart said if you’ve been bit, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor.
“If you have the tick, keep it, don’t crush it, don’t throw it away or anything. Put it in a little plastic bag with a little cotton ball, that’s got moisture to it, and bring it to the doctor.”
He added, ticks can survive in all kinds of weather, except for extremely cold conditions.
Stuart said it’s important to protect yourself by wearing bug spray with DEET and checking your body for ticks after being outdoors.