This summer, the forecast is calling for mosquitoes and black flies.
According to GDG Environment, a Quebec-based company that tracks bug activity for the Weather Network, this summer both cottagers and urbanites should be prepared for greater numbers of flying pests.
Ontario and Quebec will see an increase in mosquitoes, thanks partially to the long winter that extended the snowmelt by 15 days compared to the previous year. This delay created pools of standing water well into spring, which are the ideal breeding habitats for mosquitoes.
Meanwhile blackflies benefitted from the trifecta of heavy precipitation, muggy days, and cool nights.
“Blackflies prefer running water,” said Marc Ardis of the GDG to the Weather Network. “We had more streams and this created perfect conditions for the populations we have experienced.”
“The other thing is we’ve had good hot days but we’ve also had cool nights. What happens is these temperatures allow [the blackflies] to develop more quickly and cool downs mean adults aren’t dying off.”
In Atlantic Canada, mosquito and blackfly populations will be similar to Ontario and Quebec. Western Canada seems likely to suffer too, since it’s mountainous ranges are the perfect home for blackflies, which relish the area’s flowing streams.
It’s up to Mother Nature to relieve cottagers across the country from mosquito-filled nights around the bon fire.
“Basically what allows the population to die-off is a nice and long heat wave,” says Ardis.
And if we don’t get that heat wave? We’ll have to bust out the insect repellant, wear loose, light coloured clothing, and clear away any standing water near the cottage.