“It’s no joke. Those mosquitoes were so big they could carry off small children!!!” Almost every resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba makes a similar claim. Even the web site of the Salisbury Morse Place School states: “Winnipeg is [incorrectly] known the “Mosquito” capital of Canada. The mosquito is jokingly considered Manitoba’s provincial bird!!!” In reality the capital designation rightly belong to Komarno, Manitoba, about 70 km north of Winnipeg. In fact the name Komarno is Ukrainian for mosquito. There is a 4.6 meter statue of a mosquito, built in 1984 in Komarno. Apparently the town is now saving up for a big bug zapper.
Mosquitoes can carry deadly diseases like Western Equine Encephalitis, and many parts of Canada are now on the lookout for West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne disease that was unheard of in North America until 2004 when it killed more than a dozen people in the New York City area.
Mosquitoes can also carry malaria, but we don’t have to worry about that, we live in cold, cold Canada. Right?
It may surprise you to know that many of the construction workers building Rideau Canal System from Ottawa to Kingston in the early 19th century died of mosquito-borne malaria. They were obviously not working in the winter!