Saskatoon is seeing far fewer mosquitoes this summer compared with the city’s 10-year average.
That’s mostly due to the lack of rain and moisture.
The city’s entomologist said conditions for breeding haven’t been ideal for the insect, which requires stagnant water to lay eggs.
Sydney Worthy noted mosquito population numbers can fluctuate because of droughts or a lot of rainfall, which is being exacerbated by climate change, making mosquito populations harder to predict.
“(In) early July, the 10-year average was around 50 mosquitoes per trap and we had under two as the average this year,” she said.
But she added even with dry conditions, other pests like ants, grasshoppers and wasps can thrive.
It’s exactly what gardeners are seeing in the Bridge City this summer.
Early’s Farm and Garden Centre has seen a number of customers looking for ways to keep bugs away from their plants.
“When plants become stressed, insects seem to infiltrate a little bit, so ants are maybe a little bit more noticeable. The good side of it is the fact that mosquitoes are down because it’s a little bit drier,” general manager Derek Bloski told Global News.
But he noted the downside is trying to find the right balance with the heat, water and fertilizer as well as keeping the pests away.
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This summer has been full of variables for gardeners, particularly ones who have just picked up the hobby since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Things being that hot for so long, some things have a tendency to take right off and bolt. So you have to try to keep things cooler and it’s certainly not been without its challenges this year,” Bloski added.
There isn’t relief in the forecast, with warm temperatures and no rain in Saskatoon for the foreseeable future.
While there are fewer mosquitoes around, Worthy noted this is the time of year those that carry West Nile virus pop up, but their numbers are far fewer as well.
She recommends covering up and using bug spray, particularly in the evenings.
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