Spike in mosquitoes in Winnipeg, city monitoring for potential fogging

Click to play video: 'Mosquito spike in Winnipeg' Mosquito spike in Winnipeg
Many Winnipeggers are feeling extra bugged by mosquitoes this year and the city says there’s been a recent spike. Amber McGuckin reports – Jun 30, 2020

Many Winnipeggers are feeling extra bugged by mosquitoes this year and the city says there’s been a recent spike.

Superintendent of insect control Ken Nowalsky says there are certain hot spots where the pests are worse.

“What we are noticing from our recent trap counts is some parts of the city are noticing more mosquitoes than others and those areas tend to be areas that are adjacent to the riverways,” he said.

Read more: Can mosquitoes spread COVID-19? Dr. Hinshaw weighs in

The city’s trap count data shows the June daily average was 13 in 2018 and 12 in 2019.

On Monday, the city’s average trap count was 71. That’s a recent spike, with the entire month’s total being more on average at 12.

Story continues below advertisement

“This has been a very unusual year,” Nowalsky said.

“As we know, we had a month of June where the winds have been really strong and prevailing from the south. We have done all the larviciding we can in the city of Winnipeg but control measures don’t go beyond eight kilometres so what we are seeing now is a spike in the mosquitoes that have been outside our control zone and following the corridors of the Red River and other areas into the city of Winnipeg.”

Click to play video: 'Summer bug watch with Taz Stuart' Summer bug watch with Taz Stuart
Summer bug watch with Taz Stuart – Jun 24, 2020

Environment Canada says this June has been the windiest in the past 30 years.

So far the city hasn’t fogged yet this year but Nowalsky says people will be given a 24-hour notice before fogging starts.

He says the city is monitoring the situation and the earliest date for fogging would be Friday.

Story continues below advertisement

Taz Stuart, entomologist with Poulin’s Pest Control, says there are some things you can do at home to prevent the bugs.

“There’s an uptick right now and tolerance levels, I think, have dropped. People think we are mosquito-free but with conditions when it’s hot and there’s water present, people in their backyards need to be on board with dumping, draining and covering it. Whatever you can do to reduce mosquito habitat is key to having less in your backyard,” he said.

Read more: More evacuations as Stuartburn, Piney struggle under floodwaters

“It isn’t that bad yet but we will see how much hatch comes off the water that’s out there. There’s other systems outside of Winnipeg as well. Southeastern Manitoba got hit very hard several weeks ago, Brandon just the other day and that’s going to create more mosquito habitat and more mosquitoes for them as well.”

Sponsored content