CJOB News Team reporting
City of Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart in front of one of the helicopters used in the city's larviciding program to control mosquitoes.
(Photo courtesy of Garth Hilderman)
It might not feel like mosquito weather, but City of Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart expects there will be a few buzzing around in the next couple of weeks.
Stuart says the recent cooler temperatures and the dry winter could mean fewer overall mosquitoes in the city, but this is contingent on conditions remaining dry.
With less standing water this year compared to last, it means even fewer potential breeding grounds for the insect. Stuart says crews are already out larviciding both by land with trucks and by air with four helicopters. Data on adult mosquitoes caught in traps will be released stating May 2.
As in years before, fogging with Malathion will only take place if those adult mosquito counts reach a certain level. The dry conditions last year meant none was needed, which translated into the Insect Control Branch coming in in $1.8-million under budget.
Once again, the city is providing people concerned about the use of Malathion with the chance to opt-out of the spraying. For any who wish the chemical not be sprayed near their residence, they can request a 90 meter buffer zone around their house.
While the mosquito outlook seems positive for the moment, cankerworms are expected to be quite high in both Fort Rouge and St. Boniface.
Stuart tells CJOB people living in those areas may see higher than usual numbers of the worms this year, but he isn't certain why.
Stuart says the bugs should be out across the city early in May and it is too late to try and band your trees as most of the adult females are already up in the branches. He also says that trees that are currently banded should have the bands removed relatively soon so the tree isn't damaged.
The Insect Control Branch will also be monitoring the Emerald Ash Borer and black-legged ticks. The ticks are of concern because they are known to carry and spread Lyme disease. Not all ticks are carriers of the disease however, only the species depicted on the left is of concern.
(Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Insect Services Branch)
Anyone who has one of these ticks make arrangements to have it tested for Lyme disease by contacting:
Dr. Terry Galloway
University of Manitoba
Specimens can also be dropped off at the Insect Control Branch office at 1539 Waverley Street or the National Microbiology Laboratory at the corner of Logan Avenue and Arlington Street.