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Beware, Wily Skeeters: Larviciding Has Begun in Winnipeg

April 30, 2024 5:59 PM | News

Zika Virus

In this Jan. 27, 2016 file photo, samples of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting dengue and Zika, sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz Institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Felipe Dana, File)

The annual battle against summer mosquitoes in Winnipeg is now underway.

Crews initiated Winnipeg’s mosquito control program Tuesday, targeting mosquito larvae in their aquatic stage to curb the population before it becomes a nuisance.

“The snow has melted and spring rains are occurring which means mosquito season is here,” said David Wade, superintendent of insect control.

“Now our job is to target larvae that are already hatching in ditches and low-lying areas to control the population before it grows.”

This season’s mosquito control program will prioritize an environmentally conscious approach, focusing on larviciding and monitoring for adult mosquitoes, said the city’s bug boss.

The program includes:

  • A 100% biorational larviciding program utilizing ground equipment and four helicopters.
  • Ongoing monitoring and treatment of more than 28,000 hectares of water area based on weather conditions.
  • Monitoring for adult nuisance mosquitoes with the first trap counts posted on May 8 on the Insect Control website.
  • Adult mosquito treatments as needed, meeting City policy, AFA Guidelines, and Provincial Pesticide Use Permit requirements.
  • Larviciding operations conducted via helicopters adhere to Transport Canada’s regulations, with low-altitude applications. Areas where larviciding occurs above public spaces will be temporarily closed, with signs posted 24 hours in advance.

Buffer zones ensure the safety of residents, prohibiting DeltaGard application within 90 meters of specific properties. Residents can apply for buffer zones adjacent to their principal residence with a minimum 72-hour turnaround time on the city’s website.

Residents are encouraged to participate in mosquito control efforts on private properties by following the #draindumpcover protocol:

  • Drain water from eavestroughing and unused containers.
  • Dump standing water from containers when not in use.
  • Cover rainwater collection containers and undrainables.
  • Fill low-lying areas where water pools and treat properties with commercially available pesticides.