After a lot of rain and snow followed by warming temperatures, the City of Winnipeg is starting to work on insect control and they're encouraging residents to do what they can as well.  

The City of Winnipeg is starting this year’s insect control season focusing on a targeted, environmentally-friendly mosquito larviciding program which is the most effective approach to control mosquitoes. Larviciding targets mosquito larvae in the aquatic stage before they emerge as adult mosquitoes.

"Above normal winter precipitation has resulted in standing water in ditches and low-lying areas in fields and forests. As the spring mosquitoes have begun to hatch in the standing water, an extensive larviciding program is anticipated,” says David Wade, Superintendent of Insect Control in a news release.

According to the release, employees working in the Insect Control Branch will carry out the key components of the mosquito control program including:

  • A 100% biorational larviciding program using ground equipment and four helicopters
  • Monitoring and treating over 28,000 hectares of water area on an ongoing basis based on weather conditions
  • Monitoring for adult nuisance mosquitoes in New Jersey Light Traps beginning May 6, 2022 with the first trap counts posted on May 9, 2022 on the Insect Control website
  • Adult mosquito treatments will only be initiated when the requirements of the City policy, the AFA Guidelines, and the Provincial Pesticide Use Permit are met. If nuisance mosquito treatment is required, the program will be carried out using DeltaGard 20EW®. Areas with highest nuisance mosquito populations will be prioritized and 90 meter buffer zones will be respected. A 24-hour public notice will be issued prior to the start of a nuisance treatment program. Daily public notices will also be issued detailing where treatment will occur that night.

In accordance with Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Division, the City’s contractor operates under a low flight waiver which allows the helicopters to apply larvicides at low altitudes.

When staff are carrying out the larviciding in an area where people come together such as sports fields, parks, and golf courses, they will post signage 24 hours in advance to warn people. Public access is then restricted for 20 minutes before and during the larviciding. 

People who don't want the pesticide on their yard will have to register with the city. Winnipeg insect control is still encouraging residents to do what they can to help with the minimizing the mosquito population.

This includes dumping any containers with standing water on properties, draining eavestroughs, covering rain barrels, and adding soil to low-lying areas so there isn't a chance for rain water to pool.