The City of Winnipeg is utilizing new help from the air to fight against pesky mosquitoes this summer.
The city is piloting a project with the use of a drone to carry out larviciding efforts at six local golf courses.
Officials already use helicopters, vehicles and staff on foot as part of the annual larviciding program to target mosquitoes before they hatch. The use of a specialized drone is another tool the city will trial to see if additional aircraft should be added to the Insect Control Branch in future seasons.
Contracted pilots from Manitoba-based ROGA Drone will operate the drone, which is quieter than a helicopter and can be operated at night.
“The pilot project is an exciting opportunity to test an innovative larviciding method that could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our mosquito control program,” said David Wade, superintendent of the Insect Control Branch.
“We’re hoping that the drone, in combination with our other efforts, will allow us to larvicide more effectively so that we can minimize the amount of adult nuisance mosquitos.”
The pilot program comes with a $10,000 budget and will begin to treat standing water in the coming days at Kildonan, Crescent Drive, Windsor Park, Harbour View, Rossmere and Tuxedo golf courses.
On Friday, Winnipeg’s Adulticiding Factor Analysis (AFA) level was at medium with an average trap count of five. Ideal weather conditions have resulted in low trap counts this summer and cost savings to the city without the use of mosquito fogging.