The City of Winnipeg has been given approval by Health Canada to begin trials of the DeltaGard product.
Backed by Bayer, the more environmentally-friendly pesticide is a safer alternative to malathion and requires less of an output to a treatment area in the battle against mosquitoes. It’s also less harmful to humans, while proving to be more effective against controlling the insect population. As a result, buffer zones may be altered or reduced.
Ken Nawolsky, the city’s superintendent of insect control, says testing will begin next week behind the Insect Control Branch on Grey Street.
“It’s going to involve using a very scientific study that’s used for testing the ethicacy of product,” Nawolsky said.
Twenty-five mosquitoes will be placed in small mesh cages, where a fogger will pass by a series of times in one-hundred feet intervals — up to three-hundred feet apart. About two to three test periods will be carried out.
“Once the data is collected and looks successful, it will then test the effectiveness of the product. So, different intervals after it’s been fogged, we will be looking to see the mortality rate of the product itself.”
North Dakota is one of many U.S. states that has approved the use of DeltaGard, saying it proved nearly 100 percent successful in its uses to kill adult mosquitoes in a similar climate to Manitoba.
The city hopes to be using DeltaGard in its annual mosquito fogging program by 2017. The cost compared to traditional malathion is three times as expensive, raising the price to fog for mosquitoes to around $300,000.
Fogging continues in Winnipeg tonight after mosquito traps registered an average city-wide trap count of 77 on Wednesday.