Summertime is here, and that means its time to start thinking about the Canadian pest that will damper your enjoyable outdoor time buzzing around your ears.
Their bites are itchy, they'll stop you from enjoying any "chill" moments when outdoors at a park, but worst of all - they can carry dangerous diseases.
Mosquito season is upon us, and unfortunately, lots of Canadians may see higher numbers than usual of mosquitos this summer season.
Why? Well, the answer is simple and comes down to 2 main factors.
Noticing a difference in mosquito population year after year is something that, as Canadians, we take note of every summer. Some provinces get it much worse, like Manitoba that is packed full of wetlands and humid summer days.
The biggest reason for a busier mosquito season is a combination of weather and climate.
As you likely already know, the weather in Canada has been intense and unpredictable (Hi, global warming!). These factors have led to a big difference in mosquito population across the country.
Winnipeg, for one, was once one of the worst cities in the country for mosquitos - but they are currently seeing the lowest mosquito count in 40 years!
It all comes down to temperature and rainfall. Montreal has seen a lot of rainfall this past month, and our average temperatures have dipped below historical averages. This means Montreal, and Quebec, will likely see more a rougher mosquito season over the next few months.
How much rain at any one given time, the time of day it is raining, the length of a cold or warm spell and when its happening - these are all factors that can predict what kind of mosquito season is on the horizon.
Mosquitos like it warm, and wet. Not overly warm, though. Mosquito larvae need temperatures between 7 - 16 degrees to ensure growth.
We had many rainy days in June hitting below 16 degrees - making Quebec, and Montreal specifically, an ideal breeding ground for the little bloodsuckers.
Mosquito larvae are also entirely aquatic. They need a source of standing water to ensure growth into adulthood. Montreal has many of these sources. Beaver Lake, man-made ponds in our bigger parks. Lachine Canal. This could even happen in your own flower pots in your yard or terrasse!
Dryer conditions in your city can heavily impact mosquitos during their larval period - which Montreal has been short of. We're basically screwed.
I mean, Montreal is an island! We've skirted past heavily saturated mosquito conditions in the past because our climate was not the most favorable. This has changed and is the same reason why former mosquito hotspots in Canada (like Winnipeg) are experiencing less of them this year.
All things considered, I think we're in for a tough ride with mosquitos in 2018. Here are some facts to remember this year.
Mosquitos can also be quite picky about their dinner selections. Aside from your average bug sprays, which let's be honest, nobody likes to smell like deet, there are factors that will make you more appealing to them.
The main thing to consider is your blood type. Mosquitos tend to prefer blood type O. If you're one of these folks, watch out - you're a much sweeter meal for these bugs!
Other things to remember is your blood alcohol levels. Yes, mosquitos will come for us booze hounds! I spent most of this holiday weekend drinking, as I'm sure you did as well. Alcohol brings your body temperature up, making you easier to find.
Your clothes can make you easier to find, too! James Day, a medical entomologist out of Florida advises that bold colours like black, blue and red will make you stick out, and you should stick to more neutral earth tones.
There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitos circling the globe right now. Some of which can carry deadly diseases. In the last few years (2016-2018), adults of both the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito were found in Windsor, Ont.
The Center for Disease Control is suggesting using an EPA registered insect repellent to treat your items.
Good luck out there!