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Despite heavy rain, Edmonton mosquito numbers below average

EDMONTON- The City of Edmonton has provided an update on the mosquito situation in our city, and for now, things are looking good.

“The precipitation that we’ve had the past few weeks has definitely resulted in some habitat out there and mosquitoes hatching, as we suspected was going to happen,” said Mike Jenkins, biological sciences technician with the City of Edmonton.

This latest wave of mosquitoes is what Jenkins calls the “typical summer mosquito.”

“This is, as we expected, at about the same time we expected, our fourth wave of mosquitoes,” Jenkins said Wednesday. “They’re our typical dawn and dusk biters. They’re little sneaky ankle-biters that come in and get you while you’re out on patios and things like that.”

But despite the new larvae, Jenkins says the latest trap counts are below the 10-year average, and Edmontonians have taken notice.

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“I’ve got three bottles of bug spray at home, but haven’t even cracked one yet, so it’s all good,” said Tony Rosselli who was biking in the River Valley Wednesday morning.

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“It’s such a relief,” added Alexis Cavanagh, who was out running stairs Wednesday.

These outdoor enthusiasts have also noticed a lot more dragon flies fluttering about the city.

“With all the dragon flies it’s pretty good, no mosquitoes whatsoever, I’ve noticed biking down here every day,” said Rosselli.

“I love dragon flies, they’re my friend. They’re everywhere and it’s beautiful,” Cavanagh added.

It’s an ideal people should embrace, according to Jenkins who says dragon flies are a good insect to have around.

“They are predacious on mosquito larvae both as larvae and as adults,” he explained. “Now that the dragon flies are actually developing in those aquatic habitats, they’re emerging, flying around, going after the mosquitoes and, of course, reproducing themselves. So those populations are building, as well.”

As for what Edmontonians can expect for the rest of the summer, for now that’s somewhat up in the air.

“It’s hard to say for sure exactly what’s going to happen… because it all depends on precipitation. If we get lots of precipitation that’s refilling those habitats, we could get hatching again,” Jenkins explained. “But if it’s dry and we’re not getting that refilling of habitats, the populations could even begin to drop.”

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With files from Shane Jones, Global News.

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