Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

The latest buzz on skeeter relief

Mosquito-repellant lanterns an option

  • Print

Recent rainfall in Winnipeg has triggered an automatic mosquito fear response in some people.

This default setting summons the usual call for the city larvicide and fogging programs to be put into full effect immediately. Closer to home, a checklist of items needed to enjoy a backyard barbecue without the bite-slap-bite appetizer suddenly surfaces. It reads something like this:

Bug repellent? Check.

Citronella candles? Got ’em.

Giant fans? OK, sure.

Mosquito netting? Definitely.

While the usual means of mosquito discouragement produces mixed results — a fact Winnipeggers know all too well when trap counts creep up — a recent flip through a Cabella’s Canada Day sale flyer uncovered another option that may provide some relief.

The outdoor/hunting/fishing emporium is peddling something called ThermaCell mosquito-repellant lanterns and handheld appliances. The selling feature for these products: They shoo away mosquitoes.

Here’s how they work: Each device is powered by a single butane cartridge, which provides a heat source that warms a metal grill inside. That grill then heats the adjacent repellant mat, and the repellant allethrin is vaporized into the surrounding airspace.

Those familiar with their bug sprays know allethrin, a synthetic duplicate of the chemical found in chrysanthemum blooms, is found in many low-toxic household insecticides, as well. Those same people know mosquitoes do not like being around allethrin. They hate it.

Is this system of mosquito deterrent effective? The manufacture says moments after switching on the handheld device (approximately $30), the repellant vapour will cover a 4.5-metre by 4.5-metre (20.9 square-metre) area of mosquito-free airspace, a range that should provide enough relief for an average-sized deck, patio or campsite. The cost of replacing the limited-use butane cartridges and repellant mats ($8-$30) might be worth it for those who value a little mosquito holiday every now and then.

It should be pointed out the ThermaCell device advertised in the Cabella’s flyer comes with a pocketknife — a two-for-one special to help ward off those pesky bloodsuckers this summer.

Of course, this pairing raises a different concern:

If one requires a sharp knife to combat their backyard mosquito problems, well… God help us all.

Winnipeg Nuisance Mosquito Trap Counts

The graphic below shows the number of adult female nuisance mosquitoes last observed in each of the city’s traps. In the summer this count is usually updated daily.

Trap locations and descriptions are approximate; the city doesn't release exact locations of traps to avoid tampering and vandalism.

If looking at this graphic makes you itchy — or if you want to also monitor adulticiding factor analysis, quadrant averages, or other city skeeter stats — visit the city’s own trap-count site.

UPDATE: Map is displaying archival data during the off-season. Live reporting will return in Spring 2015.


Below 25


25 and 50


50 and 100


Over 100

Counts for date:  

Click on any circle for a graph of recent trap counts for that location.

Winnipeg Map
Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Top 5: Famous facts about the Stanley Cup

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fight as a male defends his nesting site at the duck pond at St Vital Park Thursday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 08- May 10, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think of the government's announcement that there will be no balanced provincial budget until 2018?

View Results

Ads by Google