Although right now it seems like spring is in full force, it isn't long before temperatures begin to average out in the double-digits and we see sunnier and warmer days across Canada. Yes, the bitter winter has us dreaming of heat and all things to do with summer... but don't forget the bugs.
Unfortunately, the warmer the temperatures are the more likely insects and pests are to bother you. That's why it's pretty bittersweet news that this summer is expected to be much warmer than previous years.
There is one insect in particular that we could all live without - mosquitos. Even though we're all praying they leave us alone this year, it's already looking like quite the opposite will occur.
TL;DR Due to a warmer than normal climate this summer, as well as wet conditions, mosquitos will be reproducing in larger numbers than normal. The warming climate has also contributed to the discovery of tropical mosquito species in Canada, which produces diseases that were not previously present in the country. More details below.
According to the Government of Canada website, mosquitos thrive in warm and wet climates. The blood-sucking insects lay their eggs in slow-moving or still water when temperatures are between 22°C and 27°C.
The bad news is that these are the exact conditions that are expected across Canada this summer.
Temperature maps on the Environment Canada website predict that some parts of the country have a 90% probability of seeing above normal temperatures during April, May and June 2019.
To make matters even worse, the majority of the country has a 10% chance or less of below-normal temperatures over the next few months.
Needless to say, we'll have plenty of warm weather for mosquitos to thrive in.
With this upcoming summer also predicted to be wet as well, with a ton of rainfall on the charts, mosquitos will have prime conditions for reproduction.
Of course, beyond the typical annoyance of dealing with itchy mosquito bites that last for days on end, Canadians are also concerned about the diseases that can be contracted by the infected bugs.
The West Nile virus is the most common concern in North America, and with optimal conditions on the way, you're probably worried that the disease will be much more likely to contract.
The good news out of all this is that our brutally cold and dry winters are the reason why we don't typically see tropical and subtropical species of mosquitos - the ones that carry diseases such as the Zika virus, malaria and yellow fever.
Although, from 2016 to 2018, both the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito were found in Ontario, according to Global News.
So, what does this mean? We aren't totally safe from these species of mosquitos which are not native to North America. As we've seen with other species of insects in the past, tropical species can suddenly begin appearing in cooler climates during extreme temperature changes.
With Canadian winters becoming more mild, we can anticipate some new species of mosquitos finding their way north this summer and mass reproducing.
You can help thwart the mosquitos breeding efforts by removing any still water you find, as well as control mosquito larvae with an approved product. Even small quantities of water can be enough for hundreds of larvae to grow, so replacing and getting rid of any sources of water is essential.
Stay tuned for more updates on the massive mosquito populations expected to hit Canada this summer.