July 18th, 2018

Later than normal, but mosquitoes have invaded

By Gillian Slade on May 16, 2018.


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

Mosquitoes have invaded.

“They just kind of popped up” over the weekend, said Chris Paskin, director of golf at Desert Blume. “We’ve gone out and purchased a lot of bug spray.”

Golfers are being reminded, though, that bug spray on the grass will kill the grass, he explained.

Paskin believes the high water level experienced in late April has left pools of water and moisture that is ideal for hatching of mosquitoes. The warmer temperatures since then have created the perfect breeding ground.

“People will just have to deal with the little (pests) for about a month or so,” said Paskin. “The wind helps a little bit to keep them away but Mother Nature will take its course. It is one of the annoying things we have to deal with in golf season.”

Last year the influx of mosquitoes took place in April and this year it is a month later due to a longer winter and cooler temperatures, said Dave Genio, superintendent of parks for the City of Medicine Hat. The sudden rise in temperatures over the weekend contributed to the increased volume of mosquitoes. The eggs had been laid and ready to hatch when the warm weather arrived.

Last week the city’s parks and recreation department did an inspection of typical mosquito breeding grounds, which includes doing a count of larva.

“Our larva numbers were about the same as they were last year so not an increase that we’re concerned about right now but of course we will continue to monitor our 60 sites…,” said Genio.

Those 60 sites are areas where standing water is known to exist around the city, said Genio. A dip-count method, done by trained staff, is used to determine the larva population.

When considered appropriate, an application of a “highly effective, low-risk, environmentally compatible, biological larvacide” is applied to restrict the numbers, said Genio.

“We are still in the monitoring phase,” said Genio.

The parks and recreation department is asking people to do what they can to address any standing water on personal property that could facilitate the breeding of mosquitoes. The city advises residents to look around your property to see if there is pooling water in planters, bird baths, old car tires and buckets.

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