REGINA — If you’re planning a visit to Regina any time soon, you might need some good bug repellant.
The city is dealing with an influx of more mosquitoes and wasps at this time of year, though it isn't as bad as some years.
Regina Manager of Open Space Services Russell Eirich spoke to reporters Tuesday and he confirmed their mosquito counts are above average.
“We’re doing about 167 mosquitoes per trap; our average is about 43 mosquitoes per trap, so we are significantly above.”
It could have been worse. Eirich noted the record count for this time of year was 1,719 mosquitoes. “We are roughly 10 per cent of what it could be,” he said.
As well, three years ago for about the same period the city was averaging 350 mosquitoes per trap. Comparatively speaking, this latest influx of mosquitoes is one the city should be able to deal with.
“We’re doing all right. The rain has been impacting us especially through July and in early August, and we’re seeing that rain and the overnight showers kind of amplifying things up with that.”
Eirich says their crews are out seven days a week to treat the mosquitoes the best they can and try and keep the numbers down. The city uses VectoBac, which is a product applied to standing water to kill mosquito larvae. It is organic, and is considered reasonably safe for the environment compared to spraying.
Mosquitoes develop in standing water, and Eirich said they are now developing due to the standing water from recent storms.
Eirich noted the city received a little over 41 millimetres from a July storm, and “it takes a few weeks and then now all of a sudden they start to come up.”
Eirich expects the mosquito numbers to come down, as they typically do.
“We’re seeing a peak right now and probably over the next week or so we’re going to start to see both numbers come down.”
Regina has a mosquito map online that shows where their mosquito counts are. The city is divided into six zones that show mosquito counts. Right now zone 6 in the southwest part of the city is seeing the largest mosquito counts, having trapped 743 mosquitoes according to the latest weekly report posted at www.regina.ca.
As for wasp numbers, Eirich said they are seeing some wasps and they typically peak around Labour Day.
He said wasp are attracted to sugary foods and leftover meals on decks. The city hasn’t had many calls or request for service yet, but that’s normal, Eirich said.
“It’s always because you’re going to see that wasp number increase towards the fall.”