Saskatchewan Examiner

Friday, February 23, 2024

The climate in Saskatoon attracts fewer mosquitoes, but more wasps

The climate in Saskatoon brings less mosquitoes, yet more wasps.

Key Takeaways:

  • The hot, dry weather in Saskatoon, according to City of Saskatoon entomologist Sydney Worthy, means fewer people will reach for bug repellent to keep off mosquitoes.
  • According to Worthy, wasps are less likely to attack humans at this time of year than later in the summer when food supplies begin to dwindle.

As per City of Saskatoon entomologist Sydney Worthy, the hot, dry weather in Saskatoon means fewer people will grab for insect spray to ward off mosquitoes.

In mid-May, the city begins counting mosquitos. So far, they’ve been lower than the 10-year average, according to Worthy.

According to Worthy, the more standing water we observe from rain, the more probable the mosquito population will grow. “It’s impossible to determine if we’ll see a huge boost in the population at this time,” she added, “but it’s probably not going to be much more than last year, if at all.”

She also claimed that last summer’s heat increased wasps in Saskatoon this spring.

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“Because the queens are more likely to live in warmer weather, they are more likely to breed, have more young, and there are more of them around,” she explained.

Wasps are less likely to be violent toward humans at this time of year, according to Worthy, than later in the summer as food supplies begin to deplete.

“As the summer progresses, there are fewer kids and more adults, so they’re more aggressive, hunting for that protein and sugar supply, which is why they’ll come for humans and their barbecues later in the summer,” she explained.

According to Worthy, it’s essential to follow wasp activity to see whether they’re making nests in your neighborhood, but otherwise, it’s best to leave them alone.

“Keep in mind that they’re incredibly vital pollinators,” she said.

They're back: mosquitoes out in southern Sask. | 650 CKOM
The climate in Saskatoon brings less mosquitoes, yet more wasps. Image from 650 CKOM

“They’re also incredibly amazing at controlling many pest species,” she says. “Things like maple bugs, which people typically have problems with later in the summer, wasps help reduce those.”

She also believes that 2022 will not be the year of the murder hornet.

“If you’re frightened that anything you’re seeing is a murder hornet, it’s almost certainly not,” she said.

“Right now, there are a lot of horntails out, and a lot of soft flies are coming out, and they can seem like wasps, but they can’t bite you,” she explained.

“There are a few wasp and bee species that seem frightening, but the chances of murder hornets arriving here are exceedingly low.”

Source: CTV News

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