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The city’s mosquito countdown is on

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Here’s hoping the mosquito trap-count stays low this summer.

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Here’s hoping the mosquito trap-count stays low this summer. Photo Store Photo Store

The snow has melted and the warm weather is here, which means it’s grilling season, beach season, gardening season, and, most of all, mosquito season.

Those May and June showers will no doubt lead to swarms of those pesky insects that feast on Manitoban blood.

The City of Winnipeg’s insect control department says it’s anticipating warm temperatures combined with chances of rain to create conditions that they believe will "allow for quicker larval mosquito development."

The City has already found spring adult nuisance mosquitoes emerging in small numbers, which means summer adult nuisance mosquitoes will begin to appear in the next seven to 10 days (depending on weather). As a result, city entomologist Taz Stuart will be monitoring mosquito conditions on a daily basis, and the city is "ready to implement the range of control measures available as nuisance activity and environmental conditions vary."

Northwest Winnipeg had a low trap-count as of June 1 but, given the forecast, it may not be too long before the city will begin larviciding and pesticide fogging within residential neighbourhoods.

Winnipeg is divided into 51 insect management areas (available at winnipeg.ca), and most Times readers fall into Area 51 (not to be confused with the mysterious U.S. military base in Nevada).

Area 51 includes Amber Trails, Leila North, Riverbend, Rivergrove, Rosser - Old Kildonan, and West Kildonan.

For some residents, pesticide fogging can feel like they’re stuck in a battle zone, bringing on side effects that can include dizziness, eye irritations, and wheezing.

Though not common, these side effects, among others, mean some homeowners to not want insecticides applied on or adjacent to their residences. The city offers these homeowners the chance to become "anti-pesticide registrants" for both cankerworm and/or mosquito control programs.

Homeowners wishing to register may do so through the following options:

In writing to the Insect Control Branch at 3 Grey St., R2L 1V2; by emailing 311@winnipeg.ca; or in person at 1539 Waverley St.

The city is also encouraging home and property owners to Fight the Bite, as approximately 50% of the standing water in the city is located on private property.  

The City recommends homeowners follow these steps to eliminate standing water on their properties:

Dump It! — containers; Drain It! — eavestroughing or unused containers; Cover It! — rainwater collection containers; Fill It! — low-lying areas; Treat It! — biological larvicide.

For more information on the City of Winnipeg’s insect control program, visit the City’s Insect Control website at winnipeg.ca/publicworks/bugline or you can also call 311 or email 311@winnipeg.ca

Alisa Pihulak is a community correspondent for Riverbend.

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