That familiar summer noise of buzzing mosquitoes seems to have made a return to southern Manitoba. Yes, the mosquitoes are back, and a Manitoba entomologist says quite likely they will be worse this year than in recent summers.

John Gavloski says the mosquito population is heavily dictated by how much standing water is around. And, with all of the rain this spring, there is a lot of water that has pooled. 

"What mosquitoes thrive on is water that is warm and somewhat slow-moving," he explains. "It doesn't need to be a pond or a large water body that they are going to breed in."

With standing water being the critical component, he notes the more water we have, the more that mosquitoes can breed. 

In order to prevent mosquito breeding, Gavloski says you should reduce standing water in your yard. This can include cleaning out eavestroughs, as water sitting stagnant up there for a week or two is all that is needed to breed mosquitoes. 

Other tips include placing a screen over top of a rain barrel, or periodically dropping either dish detergent or oil in that water so that mosquitoes can not breed there. If you have a bird bath in your yard, Gavloski says you should change the water periodically and not let it sit there for several days at a time.

Even though river levels have been exceptionally high this spring in parts of southern Manitoba, Gavloski says that in itself does not mean there will be more mosquitoes.

"A big part of our mosquito population isn't from the rivers, the creeks, the faster-moving water," he notes. "A big part of the mosquitoes come from that pool, stagnant, standing water that accumulates."

Gavloski says something as simple as tire tracks in the mud, which can hold water for a couple of weeks, make the perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes because of the warm, shallow, stagnant water.

And, if you had hoped that the drought conditions of 2021, which did not bode well for the mosquito population last summer, may have carried over into the summer of 2022, Gavloski says unfortunately that is not the case.

"We've had so many consecutive rains now that I think that fact has been somewhat negated," he says. "I would say expect at least a period of time early in the summer where we do see those higher mosquito levels pop up."

Meanwhile, some people have been commenting that it appears as though wasps are out earlier this year than normal. Gavloski says populations have not had much time to grow yet and he is not aware of wasps being more numerous than normal. He notes any wasps you are seeing these days are the queens, as the worker wasps do not survive our winters. Those queens are now trying to get their nests established. And, with a lot of trees in flower, this will be enticing for pollinators such as wasps, bumblebees and honey bees.


Gavloski says our wet and cool spring has impacted the life cycle of some insects. For example, he notes grasshoppers are at least a week behind where they would normally be in their development by now. Gavloski says the same is true for some agriculture insects, including cutworms.