Despite growing mosquito problem, Winnipeg not at residential fogging numbers quite yet: councillor

Mosquito season is underway. Global News / File

If you’ve noticed an increase in the number of mosquitoes buzzing around Winnipeg, you’re not alone — but don’t count on the city fogging just yet, says one councillor.

Coun. Shawn Nason (Transcona) told 680 CJOB provincial regulations require at least 25 of the pests on average across traps in one quadrant — and right now the city’s sitting around 19 mosquitoes per trap. One location, however, in the Garden City area, reported a whopping 107 of the bloodsuckers.

“What we’ve been seeing is little pockets of having high, high trap counts, and the others very low,” said Nason. “I don’t know if they’ve got bad placement of the traps that they’re counting, or just not enough, because residents are telling me that they’re slapping way too much.”

Nason said part of the reason the city is seeing more mosquitoes after an otherwise uneventful start to the summer is that they’re being blown in from areas well beyond the Perimeter Highway.

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Transcona Coun. Shawn Nason. Facebook / Shawn Nason

“I don’t fully understand why these mosquitoes are such a problem this year,” he said. “They need to do more — that’s what people are saying. Get in here and get fogging.

“I understand there are provincial requirements that are limiting what we can do, though.”

After the slow start to the summer, the city announced its fogging program would begin in early July — but that applied only to parks, golf courses and open spaces, with residential areas not seeing high enough average trap counts to warrant further efforts.

In 2019, the fogging of open spaces proved enough to solve the problem, without requiring a residential fogging program.

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Taz Stuart
Taz Stuart. Global News / File

Taz Stuart, an entomologist with Poulin’s Pest Control, told Global News earlier this summer there are some things Winnipeggers can do at home to prevent being overwhelmed by the bugs.

“There’s an uptick right now and tolerance levels, I think, have dropped,” he said.

“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.

Click to play video: 'Mosquito spike in Winnipeg'
Mosquito spike in Winnipeg

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