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Rain gives rise to more ‘skeeters’

Frequent rain storms strengthened Red Deer’s mosquito population this summer.

Frequent rain storms strengthened Red Deer’s mosquito population this summer.

Ken Lehman, parks planning and ecological specialist with the City of Red Deer, said that meant regular pesticide treatment in established targeted areas and a few new spots.

“We haven’t treated a ton, but we have treated some of the bigger rainfall events that we’ve had,” Lehman said on Friday.

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

Chemical fogging of greenery, which was done at Gallagher Park in Edmonton on Friday to prepare for the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, is something Red Deer doesn’t do.

Lehman said unfortunately there can be pressure to fog when big numbers of people are involved in an event.

“We don’t fog at all in Red Deer.

“It’s a nasty chemical for one, and it zaps just about everything on the landscape. It will take out dragonflies and everything else that is beneficial,” Lehman said.

On Thursday, he checked out a wet pocket that was established only a couple of weeks ago where he saw how efficiently Mother Nature was taking care of mosquitoes.

“There was a ton of predaceous diving beetles that were feeding on them. I actually sat there for 10 minutes and watched the beetles just munch away on mosquito larvae.”

Red Deer has also had a good dragonfly year so they have been feasting on mosquitoes, he said.

Mosquito traps in Red Deer show the population is normal for this time of year.

“I would think we’ve come through the bulk of the mosquito season. It should start drying off as we head into fall,” Lehman said.