Dry conditions keep mosquitoes away

Pollinators happy with weather

A mostly dry summer has kept mosquitoes to a minimum in Red Deer.

Trevor Poth, Red Deer parks superintendent, said apart from Sunday’s thunderstorm, the city hasn’t had to do a lot of mosquito control.

People will see a few more mosquitoes because of Sunday’s rain, but ground conditions were so dry that water was absorbed quickly in parks and open spaces, he said.

“There’s likely to be a few more mosquitoes but really nothing dramatic and nothing out of the ordinary for any of our parks across the city,” Poth said on Thursday.

The city uses a microbial pesticide called bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) on ponds where mosquito larvae will hatch. It is used to treat the aquatic larval stage of the mosquito life cycle before it emerges as an adult.

Bti is a non-chemical product that only kills mosquitoes. It does not affect fishing waters, other aquatic organisms or birds.

He said it only takes a few rainfalls to be back in full mosquito control mode, but the city has the staff and capacity to attack the problem.

“We just want to remind people as thunderstorms roll in, like the thunder warning happening tonight, just to empty out their pots and any dishes and trays and any standing water on their properties. That will definitely reduce the number of insects and mosquitoes they have to deal with.”

Unlike mosquitoes that need wet conditions to breed, pollinators in the city, like moths and bees, are dry-nesting and dry-hatching insects that are taking advantage of local pollinator parks, Poth said.

“(Pollinator parks) are being really well occupied and really well used so I’d say environmentally we’re in excellent shape from the beneficial insect population.”

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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