Beneficial insects Harmful insects

Those Darn Mosquitoes! I Can’t Take It Anymore!

In the same vein as “why tomatoes didn’t grow in 2023”, here’s “why there are so many mosquitoes in 2023”.

After writing the last article, I realized that… I still wanted to whine about the weather after all! No, I’m joking!

The province of Quebec has been having recording-breaking rainfalls all summer!

But it’s a fact: this year, mosquitoes, commonly called !/$?*& mosquitoes, here in Quebec, are a nuisance!

A nuisance? Yes, I’ve chosen my word: am I the only one with scars from bites?

Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about it, but I can explain why this year is so terrible for mosquitoes, and how to “try” to reduce their proliferation.

But First, an Anecdote!

My dear mother, whom I adore (hi mom!), moved to the country, just five minutes from my house, in the spring. It’s beautiful, with a small stream running behind her home, and her neighbor has a lovely natural pond!

But Mom, who had already been camping, was discouraged by the mosquitoes. She couldn’t even sit outside… And despite all the gadgets she’d bought, she had to face the facts: the real owners of the house were the mosquitoes! She was almost ready to put the house back on the market!

I told her: it’s normal, it’s because of the water, it’ll go away… But it didn’t go away. Even me, who lives in a less humid area and never has mosquitoes at home, I’m invaded! Not as many as her, but still…

In short, if you’ve just moved in this year, don’t move again because of mosquitoes! I’ll tell you what happened.

It’s Raining and Damp!

That’s all there is to it. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, especially in stagnant puddles. So, as it’s a particularly wet summer, it’s also an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. That’s all there is to it! There’s no other reason than that: more water, more babies!

What Can Be Done to Limit the Proliferation of Mosquitoes?

I’m curious to read you in the comments! Personally, I haven’t yet found THE foolproof trick to avoid stings, other than staying indoors!

(No kidding, I was 15 meters (50 feet) up in the trees on an aerial course last weekend, and I was getting stung through my jeans).

Photo: Jimmy Chan

Even though it’s hard to get rid of them once they’re here, it is possible to limit their proliferation: take notes for next year!

Here’s the trick: avoid leaving stagnant water.

That’s all there is to it!

In the bottom of a planter, on a tarp left outside, in blocked gutters, in your gardening tools (wheelbarrow, shovel, etc.).

Do you have a barrel for collecting rainwater? Put a mosquito net over it.

Do you have a pond? Install a pump to circulate the water.

Do you have a bird bath? Empty and wash it every day, or forget it!

It’s amazing how a simple bucket for playing in the sand becomes a nesting place after a good rain. And don’t forget that it takes about a week (depending on the species) from egg-laying to adult emergence. A few days is all it takes for your child’s toys to be responsible for the invasion you’re suffering. (I’m just saying, but it can be a good argument for getting them to put their truck away when they’re done!)

I Have No Control Over Stagnant Water at Home

Of course, my mother with her creek can make sure there’s no stagnant water, but she’ll always have more bugs than I do. Sorry, Mom!

The reality is that mosquitoes don’t need a full watering can to lay their eggs; they do just fine in rock hollows, tree holes and even in forest pits. You know when you set foot in a seemingly dry spot, but in the end, under the leaves, there was just enough accumulated water to wet your toes?

No wonder, with a summer like this, mosquitoes are multiplying like mad! The creek’s level is just high enough for the edges, between rocks and leaves, to make little nesting habitats. The forest remains so humid that the water deposited on the leaves near the ground doesn’t dry out, allowing a multitude of larvae to reach the adult stage.

So if, like my mom, you live in a place where you have no control… well, it’s not your year, poor you! There’s nothing to do, just wait it out!

There can’t be anything but advantages to living in nature, after all!

Photo: Lucas Pezeta 

Audrey Martel is a biologist who graduated from the University of Montreal. After more than ten years in the field of scientific animation, notably for Parks Canada and the Granby Zoo, she joined Nature Conservancy of Canada to take up new challenges in scientific writing. She then moved into marketing and joined Leo Studio. Full of life and always up for a giggle, or the discovery of a new edible plant, she never abandoned her love for nature and writes articles for both Nature sauvage and the Laidback Gardener.

2 comments on “Those Darn Mosquitoes! I Can’t Take It Anymore!

  1. We are big fans of the Thermacell line of mosquito repellent devices when we’re on our patio. When we work in the yard, we wear clothing professionally treated with permethrin.

  2. We use “pre-emergence”mosquito dunks in rain barrels, took out some English ivy patches, run an outdoor fan when sitting outside and burn herbal mosquito coils nearby while working too far away for a fan to be effective. All of these help mitigate our clouds of mosquitos. Also they are good food for the bats, always a good thing.

    Ceci

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