mosquito season canada

It's going to be a particularly nasty year for mosquitos in Canada

Nothing says summer like the aroma of a barbecue being sullied by the pungent stink of a citronella candle and bug repellent, things you might want to have on hand during what is expected to be a bad year in Canada for blood-sucking mosquitoes.

If you've noticed more buzzing around your ears and welts on exposed skin this spring, you're not alone. It seems that mosquitoes are on the rise nationwide, and experts have a few theories as to why you might be swatting a little more wildly in 2023 than in past summers.

CTV News published a piece looking into anecdotal evidence of an increased mosquito presence in the country, interviewing Laura Ferguson, assistant professor of biology at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, for insight into the pest's population boom.

In that article, Ferguson explains several reasons why your summer get-togethers might have more uninvited guests than usual this year, with factors including climate change and pesticide bans.

Hot, dry weather sweeping the nation — also responsible for a mass outbreak of forest fires from coast to coast — is one of the factors that should theoretically slow mosquito populations, but it hasn't exactly translated to a reduction in the winged vampiric scourge.

You can already see the complaints of increased bites (pre-empting the comment section by acknowledging they aren't technically bites) locally, and it doesn't take too much scrolling on social media to find reports of these pesky insects getting in the way of enjoyment of outdoor activities.

Toronto is home to the country's highest population density interspersed with natural settings. It's also a city with plenty of heat that these insects thrive in and standing water where they reproduce.

Throw in our collective obsession with patio culture and aversion to strong-smelling bug spray, and you have a perfect formula for keeping mosquitoes' bellies full of rich bloody goodness.

Rebecca Morton of Armour Pest Control tells blogTO that "there are many things you can do around the house to prevent a large mosquito population."

"One of the major factors that encourage breeding is stagnant water. This can collect in items such as pool covers, patio furniture, toys that stay outdoors, and unused plant pots. Make sure after rainfall the water is removed and the items are cleaned."

Morton also suggests "cleaning gutters regularly, especially after the spring and winter when debris has been collecting."

Sometimes, the best solutions are among the cheapest, and Morton suggests magnet screen doors as a "cheap and great solution which help keep out all flying insects."

Mosquitoes may not be top of mind for most, even for those with a fear of creepy crawlies, but they pose far more than an annoying inconvenience in the risk department.

A not-so-fun fact: mosquitoes are actually the most deadly animal on Earth, with an annual estimated human death toll of 1 million people through the transmission of disease, primarily malaria.

That's more than twice as many as the second-most-dangerous animal to humans — other humans.

Lead photo by

AH


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