The blood-suckers are back.

Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus are starting to show up  in surveillance traps set up around Regina.

Their numbers will peak from mid-July until the end of August.

We have had a bit of a break from mosquitoes because of the delayed spring, but now that it is heating up, and with lots of standing water all over the province, conditions are ripe for a mosquito invasion.

That ones that carry West Nile are called Culix Tarsalis.

Phil Curry, the province’s bug expert, says they love a nice hot summer and they do their feeding at dusk.

“They are often the mosquito that is biting your ankle as you sit on the deck, so they are a sneaky mosquito and often people  don’t realize that they are getting bitten.

Precautions are pretty straight forward and simple.

Use bug spray containing deet, avoid going out at dusk when mosquitoes are most active and do what you can to get rid of standing water.

Curry says there are signs this year could be a problem.

“We might see more West Nile activity this year because of the increases we saw last year in the northern great plains states and in Manitoba as well as an in parts of southern Saskatchewan.”

The worst year for West Nile virus infection was 2007 when there were six deaths and more than 1450 cases.

Last year there were only four and none of them was serious enough to warrant hospitalization.