New provincial legislation that bans the use of Malathion for mosquito control and a shortage of the recently approved replacement product will put mosquito fogging in the City of Selkirk on hold for the time being.
Dan McDermid, the city’s Director of Operations, said a product called Delta Guard has only recently been approved by Health Canada for use in Manitoba for mosquito control.
The city has been unable to purchase Delta Guard, which costs about twice as much as Malathion, because suppliers don’t have it in stock yet. This, combined with a surprise reduction in provincial funding for mosquito control of more than $20,000 – or 82 percent – has the city in a holding pattern.
“All those things rolled together have put our planning for fogging at a stand still,” McDermid said.
New Product Pending
Since Delta Guard is a new product, it’s also unknown how effective it will be in controlling mosquitoes.
“It could be not as effective and we might have to do more applications or heavier applications. But we don’t know until we try it, basically,” McDermid said.
The city has, however, been doing biological larviciding since late April. Larviciding is a treatment designed to kill immature mosquitoes while they are still developing in pools of standing water. The biological larvicide is applied directly onto standing water by way of a spray nozzle and can greatly reduce the number of adult mosquitoes.
McDermid said larviciding, along with the fact it’s been a relatively dry year to this point, has helped keep the mosquito population in check.
Larviciding is an effective way to control populations, McDermid said. When you target larvae in ditches, pools and containers, very large numbers of mosquitoes are killed before they reach the flying adult, biting stage.
Help Control the Pests
Citizens can help with the city’s mosquito control program by preventing artificial mosquito breeding sites by:
• ensuring that rain barrels are covered;
• garbage and recycling bins are covered or turned upside-down;
• emptying or changing the water in birdbaths and other lawn ornaments twice a week; and
• keeping eavestroughs clear.