May 25, 2012, 10:32 a.m.
An unseasonably warm spring and recent wet weather have resulted in a booming year for mosquitoes in New Brunswick.
The pests usually don’t make their debut until May, but this year they emerged in April.
The Greater Moncton Pest Control Commission started spraying the Petitcodiac marshes with chemicals to reduce the number of mosquito larvae at the beginning of May.
But the commission's general director, Louis LaPierre, said recent rains have diluted the larvicide, making the effort to keep the mosquito population in-check, difficult.
"It's when we have lots of rain for many days and then we can't do our work and when we do it, it rains again the following days and everything gets diluted," he said.
LaPierre said at the beginning of the season, the dry warm weather discouraged mosquito breeding but he said the recent rain has caused a spike in their population.
"It was looking good because we had a little amount of snow so there was less water than we normally have but recent rains have brought the water level back up and the marshes are quite wet now," LaPierre said.
"If we keep having warm weather, we will have a good emergence of mosquitoes."
LaPierre said there are usually two population booms for mosquitoes each year, one in May and another in June.
But he said if the warm weather continues, there will likely be a third mosquito spike this year.
"So we may have another emergence by late June depending on the weather so we could have two or three big emergences this year where normally we might have two," LaPierre said.
Moncton residents were plagued by mosquitoes in 2010, a year which had a similar warm and wet spring.
The year before that, mosquito counts in Moncton also saw a jump.
LaPierre said there were an estimated 55 million mosquitoes in the area in 2009, which he said was about 10 times the normal amount.