Summer bug update: Big year for mosquitoes after slow start


Many insects are buzzing around Alberta in high numbers this summer because of warm and humid weather, experts say.

Here is a look at a few of the most common insects, what their seasons have been like so far and what to expect for the rest of the summer.

Ticks

“You need to be tick aware for sure,” University of Alberta entomologist Janet Sperling said of the small arachnid that could carry the bacteria of the potentially debilitating Lyme disease.

She studies ticks and collects them from the public for her research. She said she has already been getting more sent to her than in previous years.

The Alberta government has a submit-a-tick program and Daniel Fitzgerald, lab technologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, said based on the numbers they have been receiving, the tick population in the province is one of the biggest, though not as large as last year’s record — slowed down by the late winter.

Mike Jenkins, biological sciences technician for the city, said although the tick population is relatively low in Edmonton, the blacklegged tick — with the potential to transfer Lyme disease — has been detected in the city and so it is more of a concern for people bitten by a tick.

Mosquitoes

It has been a fluctuating season for mosquitoes in Edmonton, Jenkins said, to match the equally fluctuating weather patterns. He said mosquitoes didn’t arrive as early this year because of the late cold spells.

He said this caused mixing of the spring-bred and summer-bred mosquitoes, resulting in a spike in numbers around the beginning of June. He said a few from spring are still around but the numbers are returning back to normal averages for July.

Tadek Sampson, a pest control expert with Buzz Boss, echoed the spike in the city. He said the increased rain and humidity have impacted …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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