Edmonton is being overrun with “aggressive” mosquito species

Published: May 28, 2018

Mosquito [Credit: James Jordan]

It’s a rough year to be an Edmontonian.

After a long, harsh winter that broke the record for most consecutive days below freezing (167!), spring has finally decided to make an appearance. But along with warmer temperatures, it has brought with it the most reliable destroyer of good-weather days: mosquitos.

And according to Peter Daly of Edmonton’s pest management department, the mosquitos turning up in Edmonton are particularly bloodthirsty. They often aren’t deterred by bug spray, and are “very aggressive biters,” he told Global News.

Mosquitos like to live in warm areas with lots of standing water, which makes summertime in Edmonton a literal mosquito breeding ground, thanks to the city’s river valley, as well as the wetlands and standing bodies of water surrounding the city. Perhaps as a result, over 30 mosquito species live in Edmonton.

Daly also spoke to the Edmonton Journal, explaining that while Edmontonians are already lamenting the clouds of mosquitoes, there aren’t actually any more than usual this spring.

“It’s not that the numbers (of mosquitoes) are particularly high,” he said. “It’s just that the ones we have right now are very active. […] We notice them a lot more.”

The late spring actually had many hoping that there wouldn’t be as many mosquitoes this year, since hatching was delayed. However, with spring rain, many dormant eggs may have been prompted to hatch, leading to a burst of mosquitos that has people pouring out their frustrations on social media.

And while mosquitos are usually inactive during the day and emerge vampire-like at dusk, these particular mosquitos may be more inclined to brave the midday sun.

“[These mosquitos] tolerate the heat and dryness of the day a lot more,” Daly told the Journal.

The city has sprayed water pools with an insecticide that targets only mosquito larvae, but it’s impossible to dose every patch of water in the city, which means eliminating the bloodsuckers completely is virtually impossible.

The good news is that these more aggressive mosquito species have faster metabolisms, which means they die more quickly. And even they cannot survive an entire hot, dry summer, so if it doesn’t rain too much, the mosquito situation should improve.

“Like everything else in life, this too shall pass.”

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