Mosquitoes are hatching and on the hunt. Ken Lehman

Mosquitoes are hatching and on the hunt. Ken Lehman

Summer buzz: pesky biters on the hatch

Mosquitoes are hatching and on the hunt.

Mosquitoes are hatching and on the hunt.

Ken Lehman, parks planning and ecological specialist with the City of Red Deer, said the mosquito population was on the low side until the temperature started rising.

“We’ve certainly seen some hatching, some emerging adults in the last couple of days since the weekend because of this heat wave,” Lehman said.

“It’s alarming people because we haven’t had real numbers up to this point.”

Lehman said hatching was delayed because of the cooler spring.

“If we get the wet-hot, wet-hot thing going on, we could have a pretty good mosquito population through the remainder of the summer.”

Typically, the mosquito population doesn’t drop off until later in the summer, he said.

Weather is the determining factor. Hot and dry will kill off larvae. So far, wet pockets have stayed wet, he said.

“With the heat being what it is, if there’s any sort of a puddle with an egg mass, it’s progressing really quickly.”

The city was already targeting larvae in areas like ditches with bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), a registered microbial pesticide that leaves other aquatic organisms and wildlife unaffected.

“We treat the bad spots we know of. We don’t treat everything.”

Commonly used by municipalities to control mosquito populations, the nontoxic, microbial product is applied to the surface of the water.

“It more or less rips a hole in their gut. It takes them out.

“Where we’ve treated, it’s been a great impact. We’ve been able to stay on top of it for the most part up to this point because there hasn’t been the conditions.”

When conditions are right, untreated areas still produce mosquitoes.

They also migrate from surrounding areas.

City staff monitor both larvae and rainfall to determine when treatment is required.

Mosquito light traps in different areas of the city are also checked each Friday during the season to count mosquitoes and species.

Traps release carbon dioxide and mosquitoes are drawn to the traps.

“Typically we know what we’re going to see, more or less. But it will help us pick up any non-typical activity or allow us to quantify what we predict.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta has identified 1,828 new cases and 15 new COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the provincial death toll to 590. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 1,828 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Central zone has 1,251 active cases

Higher sales of cannabis helped Canadian farmers come out in the green. (Black Press Media File)
Drumheller RCMP lay charge for unlawfully distributing cannabis

A joint forces investigation involving the AGLC investigation team partnered with Drumheller… Continue reading

Three weapons have been seized and four people are facing charges following a police operation in central Alberta. (Photo contributed by RCMP)
RCMP, Lacombe Police seize loaded guns, arrest four people

Four people have been arrested and multiple prohibited firearms are off the… Continue reading

The Salvation Army's 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign includes a new $5 tap feature for pandemic-friendly donations. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Salvation Army officers safe, touchless options for Kettle donation this year

The Salvation Army in Red Deer needs help. Kettle donations are needed… Continue reading

The Central Alberta Humane Society is looking for volunteers. (Photo contributed)
Central Alberta Humane Society looking for volunteers

The Central Alberta Humane Society is in need of volunteers Dec. 11… Continue reading

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Blank Unemployment Benefits form
Red Deer jobless rate down slightly in November

Red Deer’s unemployment rate dropped by half a per cent in November.… Continue reading

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia's deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting health during pandemic in B.C., survey shows

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says a survey on… Continue reading

A woman pays her respects to victims of a mass shooting at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Three charged, including spouse, with supplying ammunition to N.S. mass shooter

HALIFAX — Three people, including the killer’s former spouse, have been charged… Continue reading

Downtown Iqaluit, Nunavut, is shown after 2 p.m. sunset on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Nunavut will look to get the Moderna vaccine once it is available in Canada. Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says Moderna is preferred because the cold storage and shipping of the Pfizer vaccine is too difficult in the northern territory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Emma Tranter
Moderna COVID vaccine best for Nunavut because of storage, shipping: top doctor

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut is looking to get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine… Continue reading

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau affirms farmers’ right to demonstrate after India criticizes his remarks

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy… Continue reading

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada’s COVID-19 case count passes 400,000 mark

OTTAWA — Canada has now recorded more than 400,000 cases of COVID-19… Continue reading

Longtime central Alberta politician Judy Gordon has passed away. Photo courtesy of the City of Lacombe
Former Lacombe Mayor Judy Gordon passes away

Gordon also served as MLA for Lacombe-Stettler before retiring from politics in 2010

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro (left) and Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw pose for a photo after they received a flu shot earlier this year. Hinshaw has been encouraging Albertans to get a flu shot this season. As of Nov. 28, Central zone has already administered 122,314 doses of the flu vaccine, compared to 126,288 last season. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s flu vaccine distribution already closing in on last year’s totals

Central zone has administered 122,000 doses of influenza vaccine

Most Read