Metropolis of Regina anticipating busy few weeks with cankerworms and mosquitoes

City of Regina vehicle spraying trees for cankerworms. (Logan Stein/980 CJME)

It’s the time of year when all sorts of insects come out, some of which many people are probably not too keen on.

The City of Regina has begun spraying for cankerworms in areas of the city where insect counts are expected to be high and where trees are at the highest risk.

Roughly 10,000 trees will be sprayed over the course of around two weeks, costing the city between $5 and $10 per tree.

According to the manager of open space services with the City of Regina, Russell Eirich, this year crews are expected to have fewer worms to deal with.

“We’ve actually been experiencing a historical low for cankerworms; it comes in peaks on about a 10-year cycle,” Eirich said Thursday. “So when we’d get really, really bad years, we’ll spray as many as 30,000 trees.”

The product is entirely organic and is harmless to pets, wildlife and humans.

People living in designated spraying areas will receive a hand-delivered, printed notification that spraying will take place near their homes within 48 hours. If for some reason the spraying can’t happen due to windy or rainy conditions, it will be rescheduled and a new notice will be delivered.

The city recommends keeping pets inside, closing windows and moving vehicles off the street when spray crews are out.

The Worminator doesn’t mess around.

The @CityofRegina is starting it’s organic cankerworm spray program.

Over 10,000 trees are scheduled to be sprayed.

People living in spraying areas will receive printed notifications.@CJMENews #YQR #Regina #Saskatchewan

— Logan Stein (@L0ganStein) May 26, 2022

Mosquito count expected to keep city crews busy

After weeks of significant rainfall throughout parts of the province — including Regina — the city is preparing for a significant influx of pesky mosquitoes.

“We’ve had a lot of rain (and) our crews have been working seven days a week right now to try to get on top of it,” Eirich said. “A lot of our staff gave up their weekends to do this, so we’ve put out a lot of product. We’ve put out approximately 16,000 pounds of product in the last 10 days or so to try to get on top of it.”

Crews have been treating bodies of water with an organic compound called Vectobac which specifically targets the insect.

Despite the long hours being put in to deal with the bugs, Eirich says he still anticipates a big jump in the number of mosquitoes coming up very soon.

“So far we’re doing OK. That said, we still expect that there is going to be an emergence. Our expectation is probably the middle of next week, we’ll start to see our mosquito counts really dramatically increase,” he said.

“We’re just trying to close the gap to make sure we are lowering the peak. It won’t be that we can bring it to zero. It’s about just lowering the extremes.”

The City of Regina plans on posting weekly updates on mosquito numbers on its website very soon.

“This crew will be working hard to try to cover everything off and we’ll do the best we can,” Eirich said.

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