Winnipeg is setting records for mosquitoes this year.
But it’s good news — the city is recording the lowest number of mosquitoes in its traps for this point in the season.
“Our historical average at this time of year is approximately 61 mosquitoes, city-wide average, and we’re trending around five,” said Ken Nawolsky, superintendent of insect control. “We’ve already broken records so far. … This is the longest period of time this average has been maintained over the two-month period when we start control efforts.”
The lack of winged pests comes from a combination of strong larviciding efforts by the City of Winnipeg and great weather. Despite having a new anti-mosquito treatment ready, the city hasn’t had to use its new Delta Guard insecticide.
“Delta Guard is only used if we have an adult mosquito problem. It seems like when we have the product ready to use, there’s no need to use the product,” Nawolsky said. “It’s all the larviciding efforts that we have done and we’ve been very successful in that, so as a result you see very few adult mosquitoes out there.”
The lack of rain this spring has helped. Based on the short-term weather forecast, the city’s good luck is set to continue.
“When it has rained, it’s been very manageable for us, meaning you’ll get around anywhere from 20 to 50 mm of rain,” Nawolsky continued. “Plus it’s been spread out — about a weekly basis.”
“Where it really hurts us in the past is that you may get a dump of rain of 70, 80 mm and an isolated thunderstorm, and that’s where it really creates a lot of standing water.”
Nawolsky said the worst places to deal with when it does rain are the ditches, which stand the risk of retaining water longer than other areas. City crews prioritize those areas to prevent mosquito larvae from developing.
And a low mosquito count is good for the budget, too.
“We’ll probably be under projections, but it depends on what happens with the rain in July and August, and that’s something we can’t predict yet,” Nawolsky said.