June 5, 2012, 10:13 a.m.
The City of Winnipeg is bracing for a possible explosion in the mosquito population.
Large rainfall amounts in May have created ideal conditions and the next 14 days will be critical in curbing the skitters, said city entomologist Taz Stuart.
"The next seven to 14 days will be critical in the control of those mosquito larvae and the those potential new adult nuisance mosquitoes emerging from those water bodies," he told reporters on Thursday.
About 150 staff and four helicopters are applying larvicide to 30,000 hectares of mosquito habitat in Winnipeg and a surrounding 10-kilometre area.
But Stuart is also urging Winnipeggers to do their part.
If every homeowner eliminated standing water around properties, it could cut the breeding sites in the city by half, he said.
"Now is the critical time for neighbours to be putting screens on rain barrels, dumping water out of objects that can hold water, cleaning eavestroughing, summer pools, toys and ponds," stated a news release from the city.
If city crews cannot contain the mosquito population in the coming weeks, fogging will be used as a last resort, Stuart said.