Expect to swat away plenty of mosquitoes after Calgary’s heavy rainfall

Insect experts say that this week’s rain created a perfect storm of another kind, for breeding mosquitoes, awakening what has so far been a relatively benign skitter season.

However, it may be too soon to say if the city’s mosquito population will be larger than normal, as weather patterns play a large role in their life cycle.

The City of Calgary actively monitors mosquitoes as part of its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan, with technicians checking water samples for larva, an early stage of the mosquito life cycle.

Officials said heavy rainfall means that mosquitoes have more habitat to lay eggs in pools of still water, which then become larva and five to 10 days later mature into adult-size mosquitoes.

“We are going to see more mosquito habitat out there so that means that in the coming week or se we are definitely going to start to see more adult mosquitoes,” said Alex Pepperdine,  a technician with IPM.

However she said the resulting population will seem outsized compared to earlier in the spring simply because the city experienced dry conditions before the wet weather event.

“Its been pretty quiet up until now so people might start to notice it more just because there really hasn’t been much activity,” she said.

With more eggs in water, more mosquitoes will develop. However Pepperdine said hot weather after a heavy rainfall will speed up the life cycle of mosquitoes, and that helps determine if the population will be larger or small.

Pepperdine said officials will know more once the adult mosquitoes are flying around.

HOW TO MANAGE MOSQUITOES

She also has some recommendations for dealing with mosquitoes.

The first step is prevention.

Pepperdine said Calgarians can dump out any empty plant pots, buckets or toys that may have collected water, to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs or allowing the larva places to swim and mature.

With more eggs in water, more mosquitoes will develop. However Alex Pepperdine said hot weather after a heavy rainfall will speed up the life cycle of mosquitoes, and that helps determine if the population will be larger or small.

She also recommends bug spray with enough deet.

Mosquito repellent can be harsh on human skin so she also recommends wearing long sleeved clothing outside, and limiting activities during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are buzzing about.

She adds mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans exhale, and limiting activists that require heavy breathing will also help reduce mosquito bites.

View original article here Source