After a slow start to mosquito season, Edmontonians are being warned of the imminent return of the summer menace.
Earlier in June, the city’s pest management coordinator said that slow snow melt and lack of rain resulted in low numbers of mosquitoes.
“That level of rainfall has been able to be absorbed by the dry ground and the thirsty plants and we just haven’t seen it developing into the kind of standing water habitats where water’s standing for a week or so, that allows the mosquitoes to develop,” said Mike Jenkins.
Recent heavy rainfall has given mosquitoes exactly what they need to hatch before taking to the skies.
City council also suspended aerial spraying earlier in the year, which is expected to result in the city seeing more mosquitoes than usual after a heavy rainfall.
“We are seeing significant development of mosquitoes in those areas that were treated by the aerial program, so we are expecting to see higher numbers than we would have if we had been treating that with the aerial program,” said Jenkins on Tuesday. “It’s impossible to say how much higher.”
One city councillor and her constituents support bringing the aerial spraying program back. Sarah Hamilton told CTV News Edmonton the program is one of the biggest issues she has been dealing with recently.
“Edmontonians have a lot to say and I’ve heard it,” said Hamilton.
Jenkins had some unusual tips for keeping the mosquitoes away, including eating fewer bananas and drinking less alcohol while outside or before going outside.
“If they have high levels of things like potassium, (people) can actually be more attractive to mosquitoes,” said Jenkins. “Exhaling the excess alcohol, that can actually be a big attraction to mosquitoes.”
The coming mosquito wave is expected to last two to three weeks.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Joe Scarpeli
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