What are they?
More than 30 native species of mosquito live in the Edmonton area. One of our most significant nuisance species is the vexans mosquito (Aedes vexans).
The northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens) is a significant vector of West Nile virus that first arrived in Edmonton in 2020. This species takes advantage of water holding containers in which to lay its eggs.
What's the problem?
High mosquito biting activity can make outdoor summer activities very uncomfortable. There is also a possibility of getting West Nile virus.
The City conducts a ground based management program in the greater Edmonton area during mosquito season. It also monitors and regularly provides updates on mosquito activity in the region.
What can I do?
We welcome your assistance in managing mosquitoes in the Edmonton area.
- Report any standing bodies of water that occur within residential areas by contacting 311. These are potential developmental sites for mosquito larvae. City crews will inspect sites and treat if required.
- Drain or fill low-lying areas that collect and retain water that mosquitoes can breed in.
- Items such as old tires, rain barrels, or even eavestroughs can be a potential breeding site for some species of mosquitoes. These should be inspected regularly and drained if larvae are found.
- Store pails, buckets and other equipment in such a way that they do not collect rainwater and organic material.
- Keep ornamental pools, ponds, and dugouts free of vegetation around the edges.
- Mosquito adults require shelter. Cutting tall grass, weeds and underbrush removes the areas of shade and high humidity that they need for survival.
Hints for dealing with mosquitoes
- Help keep them outdoors by ensuring that screens are in good condition and that doors and windows fit properly.
- When outdoors, loose fitting, light coloured clothing will reduce biting. In areas where there are heavy populations of mosquitoes, wear high top boots, long pants of a heavy material and a shirt or jacket of similar material.
- When sitting outside, have a fan close by and blowing lightly. Mosquitoes are not strong fliers and will have a difficult time flying into the breeze.
- Infants are particularly vulnerable to mosquito bites. Ensure that strollers and carriages are fitted with mosquito netting.
- On exposed skin areas, personal repellents can be considered, but avoid contact with the eyes, nostrils and lips. Some repellents can dissolve plastics, paint and varnishes or damage synthetic fabrics. Follow label instructions carefully and use with caution.
- Electronic insect killing traps using ultraviolet or black lights as an attractant are marketed to control pest insects in yards and other outdoor areas. Most evidence indicates that these traps are ineffective in reducing mosquito biting.
- Some manufacturers have attempted to market electronic devices that emit sound waves that supposedly repel mosquitoes. There is little evidence to support these claims.
- As a last resort, products such as mosquito coils, propane foggers and residual insecticides can offer short-term relief of biting activity around the home.
The cattail mosquito (Coquillettidia perturbans) is peculiar in that it is the only mosquito in our region that overwinters in the larval stage. This ability is due to a special siphon that allows it to pierce and extract oxygen from underwater plant tissue.