Mosquito numbers growing after recent rainfall in Regina

Those pesky blood-sucking insects are back in large numbers here in the Queen City.

Reginans who spent some time outside this past weekend may have noticed more mosquitoes compared to the last couple weeks.

The City of Regina says mosquito populations started rising over the weekend and residents should be taking steps to protect themselves for the summer months.

Russell Eirich is the senior program manager of Forestry, Pest Control and Horticulture for the city. He says the numbers last Friday were lower than usual after their lab counted five mosquitoes per trap, which is below the historical average of 39 mosquitoes per trap.

But those numbers have jumped considerably after their recordings on Sunday night.

“We were at 106 mosquitoes per trap. Our historical average is approximately 70, so in one night we exceeded the average and we still have four more nights of trapping to do,” explained Eirich.

The lab also found three mosquitoes in their traps who are known carriers of the West Nile virus. Named Culex tarsalis, Eirich said these types of mosquitoes will be in the amplification stage for the virus. Although the virus has to pass between the mosquitoes and birds for a number of weeks before it can be transmitted to humans.

The latest rounds of rainfall in the area have provided more places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs and multiply. While the numbers are rising at the moment, they should actually go down for a little bit soon.

A generation of an adult mosquito lasts 7-10 days, meaning their counts will decrease before they rise again due to hatching eggs.

The city records show that mosquito counts usually fluctuate during the summer as a result of this up and down cycle

Eirich mentioned how city crews have been working hard to help reduce those rising numbers by applying 10,000 lbs. of product to kill as many mosquitoes as possible – the equivalent of treating 575 CFL-sized football fields.

Citizens can help out with the growing numbers, too.

“People need to drain any standing water in their backyard. A single pail of water in the backyard can breed up to 1,000 mosquitoes,” he said. “You need to change the water out frequently.”

He suggested that people who have fountains, bird baths or any other forms of standing water in their yards should change the water out every 2-3 days. Mosquitoes will land on the water, lay their eggs and the larvae will develop in there.

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