‘We’ve had zero mosquitoes’: City talks mosquito surveys, problem pests

At the City of Regina's first 'City Buzz' event of the year, they highlighted early mosquito findings and the dangers of bringing firewood in from out of province. File Photo / Global News

You might not need as much bug spray, as usual, this May long weekend.

The City of Regina hasn’t seen a single mosquito in any of its 12 traps over the first week of their mosquito surveying season.

READ MORE: Edmonton sees first wave of mosquitoes ahead of summer

“It’s one of the best weeks ever in my view,” said Russell Eirich, Regina Forestry, Pest Control and Horticulture manager. “It’s likely due to the cold weather. I also think it has a lot to do with the dry conditions. We’ve also been experiencing two years of drought and we’re experiencing the benefit of that.

Eirich was talking all things insects at the Regina’s first City Buzz event of the year. He said his team is even having trouble finding sources of standing water that could serve as mosquito breeding grounds.

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“Even if we start to see some rain, the ground is so parched right now it’s gonna absorb. It’s giving us a good head start. That’s just really good news for the summer.”

READ MORE: Dutch elm disease on the rise in the Queen City

Eirich also reminded anyone planning to light a campfire this season not to bring firewood in from out-of-province, specifically from Emerald Ash and Elm trees.

The Emerald Ash Bore has wiped out millions of trees across North America and has been found in Winnipeg. The insect kills by eating a layer of bark that is essential to the transport of the tree’s nutrients. Regina’s tree population consists of about 30 per cent Emerald Ash.

A few branches from an Emerald Ash tree. Adrian Raaber

“Ottawa lost a million Ash trees in a matter of years. So that’s the kind of thing we’re trying to prevent.

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Eirich also stressed the importance of keeping Elm firewood out of the province. The Elm Bark Beetle breeds in firewood and causes Dutch Elm Disease. Elm trees make up about 45 per cent of the local tree population. The possession of Elm firewood is illegal in Saskatchewan and can result in a fine of up to $2,000.

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