In June it rained 50 per cent more than normal in Edmonton and that’s having an impact on bugs, fungi and mud in the city.
Over the last few weeks, mushrooms have been popping up in places people have never seen them before, including normally dry and sun-filled yards.
“Mushrooms can be alarming. We are seeing more of them and the fact is we’ve just had lots of rain,” explained Perry Stothart with Classic Landscapes.
They’re not necessarily a bad thing though.
“The fact is, there’s millions of fungi in the soil that are all healthy. They’re breaking down organic matter, decomposing things. They serve an important function and they’re actually an important part of healthy soil,” Stothart said.
If you still want to remove them, Stothart says there’s one tried and true way.
“The easiest thing to do when you have mushrooms is just to pick them. Sometimes that can be quite an effort when you have a lot of them. That is the most effective way. Different fungicides and things aren’t super effective after the fact.”
Generally, mushrooms pop up in moist areas that don’t get too much light.
“You’ll see them in shadier locations, areas that are naturally more wet. A lot of times you’ll have them, with the conditions we’ve had, in the lower lying areas of the yard. Areas where you’ve got more organic matter in the soil, maybe decaying roots or old trees.”
Stothardt doesn’t recommend eating them unless you know for sure that they’re edible.
“When we get rainfall — especially significant rainfall like we’ve had recently — within a fairly short period of time after that, we start seeing increases in mosquito numbers. That’s what we’re expecting here,” explained Edmonton’s pest management coordinator, Mike Jenkins.
He said the runoff that’s filling ditches and low-lying depressions in farmers’ fields is activating mosquito eggs.
“Our crews have been out there, treating those habitats using larvicides to reduce the number of larvae developing in those habitats to reduce the number of mosquitoes that are going to be emerging from those. But we’re not able to get to all of the habitat,” Jenkins said.
Stothardt said certain plants can also help keep mosquitoes away, including citronella, sage, rosemary, marigolds and catmint.
Edmontonians say they’re already dealing with bites from the pesky insects.
“We always struggle with mosquitoes but this year, yeah, they’re quite big actually. I’ve had some nasty bites already,” Carrie Bwick said.
At Jackie Parker off-leash park in Mill Woods, the rain also means plenty of mud for the pooches to play in.
“They’re being bathed quite regularly at the minute,” Bwick said. “They’re going in the mud again right now. It’s going to make the car stink.”
And all of that mud gets carried inside our houses, too.
“It’s very dirty, very muddy. I do clean quite a bit and mop and sweep but I have to do it every single day. Everything is covered in mud. With my dog running in and out of the yard, it’s always dusty,” said Haley Bolibruck.
Her dog Luna was racing through the mud, digging up sticks and diving into the creek.
“I’m hoping that we get some more sun,” Bolibruck said.