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May mosquito counts nearly double 10-year average for Saskatoon

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The City of Saskatoon’s mosquito counts are up this May, but it’s still too early to tell how many will invade this summer.

According to the City of Saskatoon’s website, the 2023 average number of mosquitos caught between May 21 and 27 was 1.29, compared with 0.05 for last year’s average and 0.67 for the 10-year average.

“We've been seeing a lot of hot days with a lot of storms and rain,” City of Saskatoon entomologist Sydney Worthy told CTV News.

“The humidity also has an impact on that. And for our traps, there can be a little bit of bias if it's really windy or not. If it's really windy, they don't tend to make it to the traps.”

Worthy said there has been less wind, which could mean more mosquitos caught in the traps.

She said the counts in May could signify a “little uptick before it slows down.”

“We'll have to kind of wait and see.”

Worthy said the weather in the next few weeks will play a role in how many mosquitos people can expect.

“It does look like we are coming into an El Nino event later in the summer and that should make things hotter and drier, which should make it harder for mosquitoes to get those high population numbers we've seen in the past.”

However, the amount of rain the city has seen in May could prove to be ideal for breeding, Worthy said.

“We do seem to be getting a bit more rain than we've gotten the last few years right now here in May. So that is going to have an uptick in numbers with the rain and the heat and humidity, things like that that they'll really do well in.”

Whether there are lots or few mosquitos, Worthy said there were some things that people can do including covering up and watching for standing water in their yard where mosquitoes may be breeding.

Worthy said for the May count, the city used New Jersey Light Traps that have an incandescent light bulb to attract mosquitos. 

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