City Council passed recommendations on Wednesday outlined in a report to make changes to the way mosquito fogging is carried out. On Thursday, the City of Winnipeg discussed them.
The city’s Insect Control Branch will reduce the size of buffer zones to abide by the guidelines set by the province, which state that a buffer zone can be no smaller than the property size in question. Details on just how big the new buffer zones will be still need to be hammered out by both sides. Currently the size of a city buffer zone is 100 metres, which can cover multiple blocks on each side of the residence that requested it.
City entomologist Taz Stuart said if buffer zones are in fact reduced to only the size of the property, fogging trucks do have the ability to exclude a single property. The truck’s GPS systems provide information on where a buffer zone is located, and at that time the driver can shut off the spray nozzle when going by the property in question.
Another recommendation was to reduce the time of advance notice to the public before mosquito fogging begins. Forty-eight hours is the current standard, but 24 hours would be the new minimum if the guidelines are put into place.
Stuart says these changes could be in effect this season if they’re expedited, but if not, then definitely in 2011.
He also warned of a growing emergence of adult nuisance mosquitoes, which could warrant another batch of fogging as early as next week.