Grasshoppers and mosquitoes emerge in southern Alberta

Click to play video: 'Grasshoppers and mosquitoes emerge in southern Alberta'
Grasshoppers and mosquitoes emerge in southern Alberta
WATCH: The warm weather draws many of us outside, but it also brings on some pesky pests. As Quinn Campbell reports, it's officially time to watch for mosquitoes and grasshoppers – Jun 7, 2023

It’s that time of year for mosquitoes. Typically, they like wet conditions with standing water. So far, spring in southern Alberta has been pretty dry, but those conditions can change quickly.

“In dry years there is not that habitat for breeding and reproduction so we will have lower numbers, but with the forecasted rain coming, we are going to be monitoring and proactive with our larvicide application,” said Erin McIlwraith, with the City of Lethbridge’s pest management department.

She added the city uses a naturally occurring bacteria to control the mosquitoes, which is not harmful to people or pets.

Click to play video: 'Is this the start of mosquito season in Lethbridge?'
Is this the start of mosquito season in Lethbridge?

McIlwraith said when it comes to private property, the best thing to do is remove any standing water.

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“If you know it’s low lying, take some measures to build it up and prevent that water from being standing water. If you have bird baths of kid pools, things like that, just dump them out regularly.”

While mosquitoes like wet conditions, grasshoppers like it dry and hot.

McIlwraith said so far, it’s looking pretty good for Lethbridge.

“The numbers are quite low because we had that rain fall event last year. That really decreased the adult population before they were able to lay their eggs, so we are not seeing the numbers we did see like last year.”

Click to play video: 'Longer winter shortens mosquito season in Lethbridge'
Longer winter shortens mosquito season in Lethbridge

It’s a bit different outside the city.

Jeremy Boychyn, an agronomy specialist with Alberta Wheat and Barley, said some farmers in southern Alberta are already dealing with large numbers of the pests.

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“There are producers that are having to take action to mitigate the impact of feeding of grasshoppers on their crops already, which is a little bit earlier than we typically see.”

Boychyn recommends checking the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network to find out what pests are common in your area, and monitoring fields throughout the season.

“It’s important for farmers to be walking their fields early and seeing what’s in the ditches and continuing to monitor that through late spring and early summer, controlling when you do get to those threshold numbers.”

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