Winnipeg outpacing other Prairie cities on 2024 mosquito crop

While fogging in the City of Winnipeg has yet to start, experts say the threshold is near, as some traps across the city are now seeing numbers pushing well into the hundreds of blood-sucking pests. Morgan Modjeski reports.

When it comes to mosquitoes, Winnipeg is leading many of its prairie counterparts when it comes to the blood-sucking pests, with trap counts in some parts of the city already pushing well into the hundreds. 

David Wade, Superintendent of Insect Control, says while fogging hasn’t started, the threshold is near, as he says there has to be two days with city averages over 25 — which has now happened — alongside a trap average of 100 in at least one of the city’s four quadrants, and on Friday, in Winnipeg’s north-east quadrant, that number’s at 92.

“Definitely, it’s been a wetter year than last year, so we are seeing higher mosquitoes than this time last year, but historically, there have been years where we’ve seen these kinds of numbers at this time as well,” said Wade. 

The Adulticiding Factor Analysis, which looks at things like forecasted rainfall, soil conditions and temperature, is currently listed at medium and it has to hit high for fogging to commence.

“We’re monitoring that on a daily basis.” 

On Friday, trap averages were at 59, jumping from 29 on Thursday, with more than 1,600 mosquitoes logged citywide. Much higher than the roughly five per-trap logged in both Saskatoon and Regina. It’s also higher than Edmonton, who had a trap total of 249 as of June 13. 

Sherry Raffey, working in her yard Friday, lives near some of highest trap counts in the southeast quadrant, and has for 68 years, saying it does seem like mosquitoes are worse than in the past. 

“We’ve been spoiled the last six, seven years. It’s been lovely, but we didn’t have the rain in the spring like we did this year,” said Raffey.

“I come out in the yard before dusk, because they are just horrendous, and I have a screened in veranda, because I wouldn’t be able to sit outside unless I had that.” 

Sandra Porter, agrees, saying you have to choose when you go outside, and have to keep moving, to avoid bug bites, but said she’s pleased to hear Winnipeg’s reputation is being upheld by the current figures. 

“If you move, usually you’re O.K,” said Porter. “We have a reputation for that, so I say on that level, I’m glad to hear it, but on the other side, we have a lot of standing water.” 

She says with the soggy spring, many people living in low-lying areas are getting ready for a rough year, with local numbers already showing an early start. 

“I’m sure everyone along the riverbanks would say it’s going to be a bumper crop.” 

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