Wet spring means more mosquitoes this summer in Ontario, entomologist warns

Click to play video: 'Wet spring means more mosquitoes this summer' Wet spring means more mosquitoes this summer
Stock up on bug spray as mosquitos could be in higher numbers this summer – May 29, 2019

Experts say the buzz this summer will be plenty of mosquitoes.

Trent University entomology professor David Beresford says it’s the beginning of mosquito season and it’s going to get “a lot worse very quickly.”

He says mosquito eggs are expected to hatch within the next two weeks, meaning the bugs will be at their worst levels throughout the month of June.

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“Mosquitos are just starting to come out,” he told Global News Peterborough on Tuesday. “They came out of hibernation a week, a week-and-a-half ago. I think I saw my first one two weeks ago. Those are the mothers that are looking to bite, to get some blood, to lay eggs.”

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He notes mosquitos breed in stagnant water. And with the significant rainfall this spring, mosquitos have plenty of places to lay their eggs.

“It knows there’s rivers and lakes and ponds but the thing the mother mosquito is looking for is puddles,” said Beresford. “All those edges are going to be there for them.”

Peterborough Public Health says with more mosquitoes means potential for more cases of the West Nile virus. The virus spreads when insects feed on infected birds. The health unit is asking residents to remove standing water from their properties to prevent mosquito breeding.

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“Things like wheelbarrows, dump the water in your wheelbarrow, tires, toys and birdbaths — the water should be changed in that every couple of days,” said public health inspector Wanda Tonus.

She also recommends to wear adequate clothing and utilize bug spray for added protection.

“Wearing long sleeves and long pants when you’re outside,” she said. “Use Deet — insect repellent — is a good way to not have them bugging you.”

The health unit says a few human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the area over the last two years, however, none of the 5,000 mosquitoes in the Peterborough area tested last year carried the virus.

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