|"It's no joke. Those mosquitoes were so big
they could carry off small children!!!" Almost every resident
of Winnipeg, Manitoba makes a claim similar to that. 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 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!