The last week of cooler temperatures was a little reminder that summer doesn’t last forever. And cooler daytime and overnight temperatures have affected insect counts and behaviour.
Wasps are on the rise in the city, according to Russell Eirich, Regina’s forestry, pest control, and horticulture manager.
“[As we move] towards cooler evenings and shorter days, wasps get more aggressive,” Eirich said. “This is the time where we’ll start to see the calls.
“They’re beneficial in the summertime, they eat a lot of insects in gardens and bring those dead insects back to their hives and feed them to their larvae.”
Wasp colonies are larger at this time of summer, and with shorter days, wasps will have more difficulty feeding their nest, so they’re looking for sugary food.
People can do things to lower the threat, though. You can try to eliminate the nest or try to attract the wasps away from where you are going to be eating or hanging out.
Eirich said to “put pop or sardine cans out,” as wasps will fly into them but have a hard time getting out.
The city has treated three nests so far and they will treat and eliminate nests on city property but residents will have to take care of ones on their own property.
Aphids are tiny insects that have a mouth that pierces and sucks and will gather sap or plant juices. That attracts ants and wasps to trees.
Aphids are on the rise in areas with elm tree density.
The city has sprayed over 3,000 trees for aphids, but their cycle is nearing its end. They develop wings and move on, but wasps are still trying to get at the colonies.
If their sap or honey gets on your car, you can just wash it off with soap and water.
Wasps are expected to be a nuisance until freeze-up.
When it comes to mosquitoes, Eirich says there has been a “rapid decrease in mosquito counts from the previous week.”
There were 108 mosquitoes per trap. The average for this time is 87. “We’re still above the average but we’re down,” he said.
The week before that they were at 350 per trap, so they’re down by two-thirds from then.
“We’re expecting counts to pressure and increase by the end of next week, so we’ve got a bit of a lull in the storm right now, and we’ll start to see mosquito counts come in again.
There is some good news that comes with cooler temperatures, cooler nights mean mosuitoes will become less bothersome, according to Eirich.
“It’s one of the benefits of fall.”