University News for May 13, 2011
An entomologist with the University of Manitoba recommends a number of precautions to avoid insect bites this season.
Based on past experience, this year's wet weather and flooding are expected to favor higher populations of both mosquitoes and black flies.
Dr. Terry Galloway, an entomology professor in the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, says in a year where we've got a lot of standing water, mosquitoes have a potential to be present in large numbers and in a year when we've got high water levels moving through our rivers we can have severe outbreaks of black flies.
Clip-Dr. Terry Galloway-University of Manitoba:
With mosquitoes, wearing some kind of light colored protective clothing is a good idea.
Of course everybody wants to be out in shorts and T-shirts and things in which case about the only way to avoid mosquito attack is to apply a bit of repellent onto your exposed areas and follow the recommendations and precautions on the labels very carefully.
Black flies are a little more difficult because many of these repellents don't necessarily work quite so well against black flies in which case you pretty well have to use protective clothing.
Even with mosquitoes and black flies some people will wear protective head nets and things because they are so much of a nuisance.
It's kind of discouraging I know for people when we have large numbers of biting flies like this at a time of year when we want to be out and enjoy the outdoors and it's very discouraging for livestock producers to see these large numbers of biting flies harassing their animals.
Some species tend to feed on large mammals and humans so cattle and horses are really quite severely irritated by the bites of the black flies and there are even species of black flies out of some of these rivers that prefer to bite birds and so poultry can be very severely affected by these different species of black flies.
Dr. Galloway notes most of our black flies will be emerging in southern Manitoba over the next month or so but there are species that will emerge in late summer or early fall, whereas the various mosquito species will be present throughout the season.
For UniversityNews.Org, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*University News is a presentation of the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences