Mosquito populations see large increase in Regina

The city of Regina says mosquito populations have gone up quite a bit in recent days.

Russell Eirich, the city’s manager of Open Space Services, explained on Tuesday afternoon how their average mosquito trap count from a couple weeks ago found about four mosquitoes per trap. Last week, the average count was 98 mosquitoes per trap.

“To put that into perspective for everyone, our historical average is 21 mosquitoes per trap. We’re four times that number basically,” noted Eirich.

He added the jump in numbers is due to increased rainfall in the area over the last couple weeks.

“We’ve had two really big rain events since the May long weekend. With those two rain events combined, it’s 138 millimetres of rain or just under five and a half inches,” Eirich explained. “The mosquitoes really like that water, they are developing in those water bodies and we are now seeing them emerge.”

Russell Eirich, manager of Open Space Services with the city of Regina. (Photo: Moises Canales/620 CKRM)

With those numbers on the rise, he added that crews have been checking to see if any of those mosquitoes are Culex tarsalis, which can carry the West Nile virus.

“So far, we have not seen any Culex tarsalis mosquitoes in our traps, but we should see them any day now,” he said. “That’s just something we would see in the middle of June and we will see them until the September period.”

Eirich does expect mosquito populations to go down in the next while as long as there’s hot, dry weather in the forecast. In the meantime, city crews are treating water bodies with a biological product called VectoBac if they find mosquito larvae in bodies of water.

Eirich is also encouraging residents to get rid of or change out any standing water around yards to help reduce the chances of mosquitoes multiplying this summer.

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