Insecticides - Killing Mosquitos via chemicals

Various discussions related to Chemical Pesticides, Herbicides, Etc.

Insecticides - Killing Mosquitos via chemicals

Postby adminjt » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:54 pm

August 24, 2010
Winnipeg Free Press

Letter of the day: The abuse, use of science

It is interesting to see how the language has changed in the past month around the issue of mosquito fogging. Initially, there was hysteria about reducing buffer zones, amending the minimum criteria for fogging from three consecutive days to two consecutive days, and reducing the amount of notice from 48 hours to 24 hours. The province, seemingly, had agreed to put these policies in place immediately.

Beyond ToxiCity is a group of concerned citizens that was formed immediately after the hysteria at city hall. They organized a campaign that dealt with the province's Environmental Assessment and Licensing Branch to ensure that, so far, the only thing that the province has agreed to is to reduce the amount of notice given to residents before fogging begins.

The fact is that despite entomologist Taz Stewart's claim that the city never requested a 15-metre buffer zone, the province has demanded significant studies to determine the proper size of pesticide-free buffer zones. It is the province, not the city, that is demanding this scientific study and is outlining its criteria for the city to follow, even though the city wanted to get rid of buffer zones altogether. Hopefully, this could lead to the province demanding from the city a thorough scientific study on the pros and cons of the use of Malathion in the control of mosquitos.

Nick Ternette
Winnipeg

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 62274.html

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ACTION: Citizen Action on Mosquito Fogging
foggingmosquito_cp_8054538.jpg

Many people are asking what they can do in light of the City's proposals to change the way mosquito fogging is done. Here are some priority suggestions from Resource Conservation Manitoba and the Campaign for Pesticide Reduction, Winnipeg.

These are the Winnipeg Public Service Recommendations for the Mosquito Control Program.

Mosquito Wars: Politics, Economics or Science? This is a great article explaining the history of chemcial insecticide programs and their questionable usefulness.


Write letters
To Hon. Bill Blaikie, Minister of Conservation mincon@leg.gov.mb.ca . See background info and a template letter at Resource Conservation Manitoba's website.
It's always good to add your own story, or your personal concerns.
Copy this letter, or write another one to Hon. Theresa Oswald, Minister of Health minhlt@leg.gov.mb.ca, and Hon. Greg Selinger, Premier.premier@leg.gov.mb.ca AND your MLA. (Find their email addresses here)

To the Winnipeg Free Press: It doesn't need to be long and complicated - just state your views.


Join a list serv on this issue

1) With a gmail account, go to beyond toxicity, and on the right is apply for group membership
which requires signing in.

2) or, without a gmail account, email alonolamim@yahoo.ca and write "SIGN ME UP FOR BEYOND-TOXICITY" in the subject, with no need to elaborate, unless you wish to

3. Attend a strategy meeting at the Millenium Library on Wednesday, July 28th. Buchwald Room at 6:45pm.

4. If the government okays the proposed changes and if you don't like them, send a letter of Appeal to Hon. Bill Blaikie, Minister of Conservation mincon@leg.gov.mb.ca within 15 days of the decision.

http://mbeconetwork.org/action/citizen- ... o-fogging/

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August 12, 2010
Commentary from Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Manitoba
Heated debates are going on again in Brandon and Winnipeg about the most effective way to deal with mosquitoes. In thinking about this issue it is useful to begin with the broad historical context of mosquito control, and then to follow with a look at some recent and current research relating to the fundamental questions being asked in both cities about the repeated use of malathion.
Western cultures have long believed that we can dominate nature, and in fact we have come to see such domination as a key part of what we call "development". As Gladwell (2001) has observed:
Long entangled with not only disease but development, the mosquito has been intimately linked to state power, often becoming both its object and its raison d'être. One of the most vivid examples of this process is the anti-malarial project of Italy's Fascist regime in the 1920s, where the malarial-ridden Pontine Marshes served as the ideological "quilting point" for nationalist discourses over the domination of a "wild" nature by modern technology and development".

Two Approaches
Two fundamentally different approaches emerged historically for dealing with mosquitoes and their impact on humans. The pioneer of chemical-free mosquito source reduction was William C. Gorgas (1854-1920). He instituted measures to combat mosquitoes such as the drainage of all pools and ditches around a set perimeter of towns and villages; widespread brush removal and the cutting of all grass greater than one foot in height; the window-screening of houses; the quarantining of the sick and the trapping of adult mosquitoes. Preventing any spaces like rain barrels, flower pots and gutters from providing breeding sites was fundamental to his approach. Indeed, householders who did not comply with his prevention program received a $5 fine.
Gorgas's approach was soon overshadowed by chemical intensive warfare advocated by American doctor Fred L. Soper (1893-1977). Soper was given the authority to use Paris Green, or copper acetoarsenate. Soper's title, "world's insect killer", emerged when he caused the large-scale industrial production of DDT in the 1940s. As Gladwell put it, "Gorgas, Soper's legendary predecessor, said that to fight malaria, you had to learn to think like a mosquito. Soper disagreed- for him fighting malaria had very little to do with the intricacies of science and biology."

DDT
Soper's approach led to the worldwide application of DDT in the 1950s and 1960s supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It wasn't long before mosquitoes developed DDT resistance and insect populations rebounded after aerial spraying. The 1962 release of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and ongoing research on DDT and its breakdown products, indicating detrimental effects on humans and biota, confirmed the wisdom of the banning of DDT in the developed world in the 1970s. It should be noted that this well-studied and clearly very damaging insecticide is still being manufactured and sold by industry and promoted in some countries. This lack of concern on the part of the current manufacturers, despite the scientific and medical literature, is evidence of the lasting power of Soper's doctrine.
The DDT industry is not alone in its disregard of the relevant literature, giving us some measure of the integrity of pesticide manufacturers /distributors in general. Where adulticiding is still practiced, DDT has been replaced by ultra-low-volume (ULV) insecticides like malathion, usually fogged by sprayers on trucks or helicopters. Those communities who favour Soper's dogma have continued to blanket the environment with insecticide from air and road, resulting in negative impacts on various biota, including humans, and most importantly resulting in the development of insects that are resistant to the chemical.

Biological Approaches
A developing concept in general insect control was to identify the most vulnerable and accessible stage of an insect's life cycle. With this addition to the Gorgas approach, the mosquito larval stages were identified as the life cycle stage most accessible to population control. These larvae were found in the standing water in the environment. This approach in the early 1970s led to the use of another organophosphate pesticide, terbuphos (abate), to kill larvae in breeding locations where drainage etc. were not feasible.
By the 1980s resistance to terbuphos was documented and it was replaced by much more specific biological insecticides- Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) and Bacillus sphaericus (Bs)- and progressive and ecologically aware communities promoted the concept of integrated pest management. Promoting predators by a bioengineering approach that encourages habitats for bats, dragonflies and insectivorous birds has been used in some jurisdictions. The Soper approach, based on chemical use, minimizes these aspects and may reduce predators.

Manitoba Evidence
After hearing presentations from experts from across Canada in hearings held in 1982, the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission concluded that adulticiding mosquitoes was a waste of time and money. So why, given that conclusion, has the City of Winnipeg persisted with continuous fogging with malathion? Has new scientific evidence materialized to support their approach? Do monitoring systems indicate, when critically evaluated, that malathion produces dramatic drops in adult mosquito populations?
A more likely explanation is that recent events in Brandon have led Winnipeg to continue rejecting the approach taken by Canadian cities that do not use malathion. Brandon most years has been effectively managed through larviciding, but cut-backs in staffing and monitoring this very wet year resulted in large nuisance mosquito populations, making conditions there similar to Winnipeg's. Winnipeg is located in a large flood plain that experiences significant flooding most years, and large tracts of land are not accessible, making effective larviciding very expensive. Politics took over as occurs most of the time in Winnipeg and ineffective malathion spraying returned.

There is much evidence showing that the use of Malathion has serious health implications
When challenged on the use of malathion and its impact on human health, its supporters call upon the flawed Health Canada Pest Management Regulation Agency (PMRA) research which gives the green light for use of the chemical. But the agency relies on the industry's own research which states that the public is perfectly safe as long as it doesn't drink it. This is interestingly the stance taken by Crop Life Canada - a trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of pest control products - that, through its lobbying efforts, has had a huge negative impact on rational evaluation and licensing of pesticides in Canada and elsewhere.
But Medical research shows that concerns are warranted. For example, infants under 6 months do not yet have fully developed acetylcholinesterase systems (the molecular target for malathion) and their immature livers are less able to breakdown malathion, making them and developing mammalian fetuses much more sensitive to malathion. Other persons known to suffer adverse effects include a small percentage of the population who have an atypical low-level variant of plasma cholinesterase and are therefore more vulnerable to poisoning. Long-distance runners, women in early pregnancy or using birth control pills, and persons who have advanced liver disease, chronic alcoholism, malnutrition, or dermatomyosotis also exhibit low plasma cholinesterase levels. Persons who have asthma and are exposed to malathion may be at increased risk because it can cause narrowing of the airways, exacerbating breathing difficulties. Malathion has also been associated with allergic contact dermatitis, and is known to be an endocrine disruptor. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified malathion as a carcinogen in mice and a possible carcinogen in humans.
While he pesticide industry and some ill-informed politicians say repeatedly that malathion is rapidly detoxified and excreted, recent measurements have documented the presence of malathion and its derivatives in the bloodstream of adults in the City of Winnipeg. In the body and in the environment, malathion can be converted from the -thion form to the more toxic -oxon form; rates of conversion vary greatly in the population but are much more rapid in the body than in the environment. Maloxon and commercial grade malathion have been found to cause chromosomal damage in a wide variety of organism cell types including humans.

Commercial versus Pure Pharmaceutical Malathion
It should be particularly noted that the required test results submitted by a malathion manufacturer for registration to PMRA have been carried out with pure malathion, not the manufactured or commercial product that has additives. Malathion is now undergoing a further re-evaluation by PMRA and among the new requirements are: data on the formation of impurities in manufacture; impurities of toxicological concern (if applicable); oncogenicity (2 rodent species); long-term studies (if available); acute delayed neurotoxicity (hen); developmental neurotoxicity; foreign reviews of toxicology etc. On enquiring as to the availability of new data provided by the manufacturers, PMRA advise that these data ( only available in their library in Ottawa) will not be accessible to independent scientists and the public until the malathion review is completed (no date given).
Since Winnipeg is the only city in Canada carrying out adulticiding and has been doing this for over 40 years, it is unfortunate that Health Canada has not used this as an opportunity -as was done in Florida and California - to have physicians record and assess any health effects in the population. Critics have noted a great reluctance on the part of PMRA to study humans in the real world.

Some U.S. Experience
Several U.S. states carried out extensive and repeated aerial spraying of malathion products in an attempt to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly, considered a serious threat to agriculture. The Florida state health department solicited reports of potential adverse health effects. From April 30 to September 30 1998, 230 reports of illness were received and investigated by the Department of Health. The 123 probable or possible cases represented a rate of nine cases per 10,000 residents in the exposed areas.
In California, scientists with varied backgrounds in toxicology raised concerns about contaminants in commercial formulations. Indeed, Dr. Marc Lappe, the author of the state's first risk assessment recommended that pharmaceutical, not commercial malathion be used. His recommendation was ignored since the manufacturer advised that they could not make the needed quantity of the pure insecticide. The report also indicated concerns about susceptible people and uncertainties in analysis. For example they ended up with 17 sprayings rather than the 6 used by the Committee to calculate exposures. Recently, the issue of the toxicology of contaminants (isomalathion etc.) in manufacturing led to the EEC's banning malathion as an insecticide in plant protection products.
The last PMRA risk assessment in Canada was done in 2003 and was based on a single application event. The exposure of populations to multiple events clearly needs serious study. Two theoretical studies out of Quebec in 2010 conclude that for a significant portion of the population, repeated aerial (advocated by some in Winnipeg) and to a lesser extent, ground sprayings of malathion can generate acute and subchronic exposures that may exceed toxicological concern based on the USEPA's reference values. Repeated ground spraying results for acute exposures to infants, toddlers and children were 12.5 percent, 24.2 percent and 8.8 percent of the individuals and corresponding subchronic exposures were 9.8 percent, 16.5 percent and 7.4 percent.

West Nile Virus
Another stated rationale for adulticiding with malathion in Winnipeg and Brandon relates to fears of infection with West Nile Virus (WNV). Canada had its first confirmed case of WNV in 2002. Health Canada advises that for most Canadians the risk of this illness is low, and the risk of serious health effects is even lower. They advise that one's chance of being bitten by a mosquito capable of spreading WNV is small. However, if there are reports of infected mosquitoes, infected horses or dead birds in your area, the following actions should be taken immediately to minimize risk: limit outdoor time at dawn and dusk; wear light-coloured long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat when outdoors; use insect repellants following manufacturers' directions. Also take steps to reduce mosquito populations around your home, namely, remove all standing water. The Canadian Family Physician in June 2005 published a "West Nile Primer". The main message was: "While methods for controlling the mosquito population are available, we lack evidence that they reduce infection in the general human population. Indeed all medical and government authorities and research say the best way to protect against any disease linked to mosquitoes is to avoid bites - use repellants." It is also notable that malathion toxicity is a much greater threat to susceptible segments of the Winnipeg population than is West Nile Virus.
It is most unfortunate that, in spite of the evidence described above, Winnipeg is now proposing much more intensive malathion spraying in the provincial capital for nuisance mosquitoes.
Bill Patton is Professor of Biology at Brandon University and a Manitoba Director of the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists.

Sources:
In I.G.R.Shaw, P.F.Robbins and J.P. Jones (2010) A Bug's Life and the Spatial Ontologies of Mosquito Management. Annals of the Assn. Of American Geographers 100(2):373-392.
In M.Gladwell (2001) The mosquito killer. The New Yorker 2 July.


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Warning Industry Propaganda Below
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August 24, 2010

Winnipeg Free Press

Letter of the day: The abuse, use of science


Your headline, Science to lift fog on buffer zones (Aug. 20) is misleading. Here's the problem. We're still trying to deal with this problem politically. A scientific study does nothing to end the politicization of the debate -- it merely obfuscates city hall's inability to make tough decisions.

In fact, it's the worst form of politics -- using science to try to justify what are tough political decisions. Here's what we need to ask: Question 1: Is malathion safe to spray in the doses that the city uses? If the answer is no, then stop using it. (And don't say that there's scientific debate. There isn't. There has been one accredited study done on Malathion. Its results were conclusive. Malathion is safe to humans in the doses prescribed by the city.)

So since the answer is yes, then ask Question 2: Does any homeowner have the right to deny another homeowner a service to which the second homeowner is legally entitled? Again, the only common sense, legal, non-political answer is no, they aren't entitled to deny another home owner access to a legally entitled service. Ergo, any scientific study on drift is merely another political ploy to avoid pissing off a percentage of voters. Problem is, it's a Solomon's solution and won't keep anyone happy. Generally, Malathion opponents want to ban Malathion, not just at their home, but everywhere. So they won't be happy. I, on the other hand, want to receive the services for which I pay my taxes.


Dave Ferguson
Winnipeg

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 62274.html

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Letter of the day: The Mosquito Mayor

Postby adminjt » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:01 pm

July 29, 2010

The Winnipeg Free Press

Letter of the day: The Mosquito Mayor

Bartley Kives's article (Katz wants to re-examine mosquito-control policy, June 22) states that "The mayor also said he is open to the idea of replacing the pesticide malathion with permethrin, surmising Ottawa may outlaw malathion in the future." A month later, Kives reported the city had last year cut the vacant position of "source reduction engineer" designed to fill in low-lying areas and remove standing water -- the real source of our large mosquito populations (Anti-mosquito plan shelved, July 21). At the same time, council has now passed a report that will ask the province to reissue the mosquito-control licence allowing for more efficient use of the neurotoxic chemical malathion, more often, with meaningless buffer zones ---- and the province seems supportive of unquestioningly following, without doing due scientific diligence.

Citizens should not be fooled into buying into this sort of toxic election-year populism just because they are annoyed by mosquitoes. The contradictions inherent in these policy changes come down to bad management of insect control by Mayor Katz and council -- not a case of bad mosquitoes requiring more chemical fogging.

Furthermore, when it comes to switching from chemical larvicides like Dursban to less toxic biological larvicides like Bt, the city's own report tabled in March of 2005 called for this to occur by 2007. The city now says that due to budgetary considerations it wants to do this by 2012, "two years earlier than originally planned," a mysterious fabrication referring only to the date by when the chemical larvicides will be de-registered. Katz's musing that malathion may soon be outlawed should raise serious concerns among malathion supporters who have been told all along malathion is safe and it quickly breaks down, without being told it breaks down into the highly toxic chemical malaoxon.

Failing to implement the more progressive ideas of five years ago to prevent heavy mosquito populations from hatching while reducing the ecosystem's chemical load, the Mosquito Mayor has now waited until four months before his biggest electoral challenge to push for a higher use of these dangerous chemicals and reduced buffer zone protection for those whose health is compromised by these neurotoxins, while sowing divisiveness in the community where none should have existed.

The city only needed to heed its own policies of 2005 to move away from poison toward prevention as its No. 1 strategy. The poisoned atmosphere in the community will surely be part of Katz's legacy, and he will now be remembered for this step backwards as the Malathion Mayor.

Alon Weinberg
Winnipeg

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 30679.html

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Interactive Map: Mosquito Fogging

How is Winnipeg fighting back against mosquitoes?

The City of Winnipeg controls adult mosquitoes along streets and lanes, as well as in city parks, golf courses and cemeteries. The City uses Malathion® 95 ULV (Malathion) for ultra low volume applications (ULV); Prelude® and Permanone® (permethrin) for residual treatments.

Weather permitting, fogging would occur daily from 9:30pm to 6:30am.

Map graphic courtesy of/with files from: Winnipeg.ca

Click on a mosquito icon below for information on areas previously fogged and areas to be treated for Nuisance Mosquitoes.

http://www.globalwinnipeg.com/Interacti ... story.html

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July 27, 2010

City to resume fogging

By Winnipeg Sun

The City of Winnipeg's battle against mosquitoes has now resumed.

The city says the number of mosquitoes has risen again and crews will begin fogging again Tuesday night, as long as weather allows.

Fogging was suspended July 12 after mosquito counts dropped.

The spraying is set to resume from 9:30 p.m. Tuesday until 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. It will carry on every night that weather permits until further notice, according to the city.

Malathion fogging can't occur when the temperature drops below 13 C or wind speeds or rain make it ineffective.

To find out exact fogging locations, visit www.winnipeg.ca/bugline

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipe ... 42136.html

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27/07/2010

Winnipeg Free Press - Letters to the Editor

No more malathion

As a relatively new Winnipegger, I am mostly grateful to be living here. This city is an exciting home thanks to its diversity, distinct history, artistic vitality, and natural beauty. The well-known Winnipeg inferiority complex seems unfounded to my newcomer's eyes.

At the same time, as a newcomer I am dismayed by Winnipeg's attachment to malathion fogging. To combat mosquitoes by putting a toxic chemical into the air we breathe seems obviously misguided. Especially when, like so far this summer, the mosquitoes are not even disease carriers. The idea of reducing advance notification and buffer zones, which give people some minimal control over their exposure to this toxin, seems obviously harmful.

Perhaps longtime residents here have been desensitized to how truly strange malathion fogging is. As we say in Yiddish, it's a shame what you can get used to. As a new Winnipegger, I want to say to longtime Winnipeggers: Please take another look at what is happening in our city!

JUSTIN JARON LEWIS
Winnipeg

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 98284.html

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July 29, 2010

Brandon Sun

Letters to the Editor - City follows bad example

The true colour of Mayor Dave Burgess is again apparent. This is the elected official who, after avoiding debate in a full council meeting, led the charge on changing a 30-year-plus policy of our proudly green city and, of course, now doesn't want the issue to be considered in the upcoming election.

He sought no mandate to make these changes in the last election, although the mosquito numbers were very high in 2005. He now apparently wants the council to study the issue in the future.

However, he and Coun. Jim McCrae (Meadows) don't need any study. They are already determined to spray at will and lean on the province to reduce the buffer zones that were recommended to the province by the City of Winnipeg many years ago after they switched from DDT to malathion.

Whereas the City of Brandon, based on controlled research in the early 1980s at the golf course, demonstrated that fogging with malathion in that area led to increases and according to the Grand Forks, N.D., mosquito expert more aggressive nuisance mosquitoes.

Why are these "lip-service to the environment" politicians in Winnipeg and Brandon pushing this agenda? Clearly, they have no qualifications in biology, toxicology or epidemiology.

Of course, it's election time, and copying Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz must be good politics!

Why wouldn't Brandon wisely follow the mayors and councils of all other cities in Canada who don't adulticide? Do they know that malathion is once again under review by PMRA and that the product has been banned in Europe because the manufacturers were unable to satisfy the EEC process that iso-malathion, a side-product of its manufacture, and some of its metabolites were not of health concern?

What will they do if malathion is withdrawn for the same reasons in Canada? The PMRA has no substitute registered and the manufacturers are reluctant to register low-volume sales products in Canada anymore.

Methinks the mayor doesn't want a full examination during this election of cutbacks in programming. It was recognized historically that in wet years a more vigorous larviciding approach was needed, since many of the nuisance mosquitoes hatch out in shallow standing water in eavestroughs, back lanes and yards.

The additional student manpower, when not larviciding, was out in the neighbourhoods inspecting and educating the public on how to minimize mosquitoes in their immediate environment. It is of note that the new garbage containers are frequently left open to the elements after garbage day and readily fill with rainwater and serve as excellent new back lane breeding grounds.

The city has also created new pools along the riverbank -- already an area of very concentrated mosquito activity even in dry years. What has Brandon done to fill in sunken areas like this or pump the water from these areas?

It is noteworthy that Katz ran on a platform to deal with these breeding sites but didn't fill the position and also cut back on larviciding crews. In fact one can make a good argument that Winnipeg did not follow the Brandon example after the Clean Environment Hearings in 1982 because they didn't want to spend the money to seriously address the issue.

Indeed, Taz Stuart when he took over the Winnipeg program advocated a biological/ecological approach -- but Winnipeg was not willing to spend the money.

For example, they are still using Dursban as a larvicide, a product now deregistered by PMRA but a great deal cheaper than BT, the biological larvicide which Brandon has used since the early 1980s.

Is this really the example that Brandon should follow?

DR. BILL PATON
President, Brandon & Area Environmental Council


1 Commentscomment icon

Posted by:mediation

July 29, 2010 at 11:27 PM

ITS IMPORTANT THAT WE TAKE THE SAFEST ROOT POSSIBLE FOR MOSQUITO CONTROL. BUT SOME CONTROL IS NECESSARY. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO GET EATEN ALIVE BY THIS CREATURES, BUT POISONING OURSELVES IS NOT THE ANSWER EITHER. LIKE MOST THINGS IN LIFE THE ANSWER IS SOME PLACE IN THE MIDDLE. IT IS UP TO THE CITY TO SELECT THE SAFEST OPTION & TO DO ITS HOMEWORK AND ENSURE THE BEST POSSIBLE ROUTE IS TAKEN. WHICH SHOULD BE IN THE INTEREST OF ALL CITIZENS. BUT ONCE AGAIN SOME CONTROL IS NEEDED. WHAT EVER THAT MIGHT BE. PROF. ALAN LEVY

Comment

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The true colour of Mayor Dave Burgess is again apparent. This is the elected official who, after avoiding debate in a full council meeting, led the charge on changing a 30-year-plus policy of our proudly green city and, of course, now doesn't want the issue to be considered in the upcoming election.

He sought no mandate to make these changes in the last election, although the mosquito numbers were very high in 2005. He now apparently wants the council to study the issue in the future.

The true colour of Mayor Dave Burgess is again apparent. This is the elected official who, after avoiding debate in a full council meeting, led the charge on changing a 30-year-plus policy of our proudly green city and, of course, now doesn't want the issue to be considered in the upcoming election.

He sought no mandate to make these changes in the last election, although the mosquito numbers were very high in 2005. He now apparently wants the council to study the issue in the future.
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Skeeter-control proposals ‘reckless,’ province told

Postby adminjt » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:17 pm

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Skeeter-control proposals ‘reckless,’ province told
By PAUL TURENNE, Winnipeg Sun

Resource Conservation Manitoba launched a campaign Monday to ensure citizens’ concerns about malathion, buffer zones and other issues can be heard and properly considered before the province approves changes to Winnipeg’s mosquito control program.

The environmental lobby group has drafted a sample letter people can send to Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie urging him to thoroughly investigate proposed reductions in buffer zone size — which the letter refers to as “a reckless disregard for legitimate health concerns” — and other changes, including a reduced threshold to trigger fogging and a shortened period for notifying the public that fogging will occur.
“What (the government) needs to do is ensure there’s opportunity for public comment and a review of any changes to the pesticide permit,” said Josh Brandon, the living green co-ordinator at Resource Conservation Manitoba. “They’re going to be asking for some pretty major changes.”
Brandon said people have very serious concerns about malathion’s health effects and whether buffer zones smaller than the current 100 metres will offer adequate protection.
Last week Winnipeg city council approved a report recommending eight changes. Within minutes of the decision Blaikie sent a letter to the city indicating his support for change.
However, a spokeswoman for Blaikie said the letter indicated support for change only, and not for any specific recommendations.
The city must still apply to have its provincial pesticide application licence changed, she said, noting the city must outline more specifically what it wants from the province, including the size of buffer zones and its plans to better notify citizens if the notification period is reduced.
“The province will do a thorough review of any request by the city for a change to the mosquito control program,” the spokeswoman said, noting such a request has not yet been received.
It will be up to the city to conduct any public consultation prior to the application, she said, noting the “logical” place for consultation is prior to the request so the public’s opinion can be reflected in the application.
To view RCM’s sample letter, visit www.livinggreenlivingwell.ca/take_action/pesticides.
paul.turenne@sunmedia.ca
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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Skeeter plan passes; province on board
By: Bartley Kives
22/07/2010 1:00 AM | Comments: 16
Minutes after city council approved a new mosquito-fighting plan on Wednesday afternoon, Manitoba Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie sent Mayor Sam Katz and every councillor a letter declaring the NDP government agrees it's time to review the way the city fogs for adult nuisance mosquitoes.
The review "must be done with a view to support the desires of the many Manitobans who are in favour of increased mosquito control, while respecting the views of those with concerns about the use of pesticides on their property," Blaikie wrote.
The provincial government is open to all of the changes the city wants to make, several of which require provincial approval.
Winnipeg wants the province to reduce the size of buffer zones from the current 100 metres, reduce the lead-up time before fogging can begin to two from three days and reduce the public-notification period before fogging commences to 24 hours from the current 48.
Financially, the city is asking the province to provide $5.1 million in new funding over the next two years to eliminate the use of the chemical larvicide Dursban and begin using substances less harmful to the environment.
Blaikie said the Manitoba government has no problem reducing the lead-up time and public-notification period before fogging, provided the city does more to notify the public fogging is taking place.
Blaikie also said the province sees no problems with reducing the size of buffer zones -- a contentious issue in Winnipeg -- but the pesticide-free areas will not be smaller than the property line of anyone who registers.
The province is also willing to consider more money for larviciding in Winnipeg, but only if the city presents a comprehensive plan for improving the way it kills mosquito larvae. The province will likely expect the city to pay for part of the program.
Blaikie also asked the city to share the cost of a study about "potential alternatives to malathion," which is the only pesticide licensed to be used as an adult mosquito fogging agent in Canada. Manitoba Conservation will also ask the federal Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency for advice about alternatives to malathion, which Ottawa considers safe, but some medical professionals consider harmful to human health.
The city plan makes no mention of alternatives to malathion, which is the most contentious weapon in the city's mosquito-control arsenal.
On Wednesday morning, six anti-pesticide activists -- including Glenda Whiteman and Nick Ternette -- appeared before council to lambaste the city for continuing to use malathion because they believe its use is correlated with diseases such as cancer and asthma.
During an afternoon council debate, opposition councillors accused Katz of ordering up a mosquito-control review in an election year.
"This is political expediency," said Daniel McIntyre Coun. Harvey Smith, whose inner-city ward has the highest number of registered buffer zones in Winnipeg.
Other councillors said no politician should pretend to be a scientist. "For someone to say the introduction of a synthetic compound into the environment is always good or always bad is intellectually lazy," said St. Vital Coun. Gord Steeves, noting few people having a problem slathering toddlers with DEET.
The city's new mosquito policy calls for increased spending of $930,000 a year to shorten the length of time it takes to fog the entire city to two or three days from the current four or five. It also calls for buffer-zone registrants to provide proof of identity.
bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca






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Malathion is not the answer

Postby adminjt » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:53 am

June 29, 2010

Brandon Sun

Malathion is not the answer

Letters to the Editor

For more than 40 years, Brandon College University has been the technical resource for mosquito control in the City of Brandon. The program started with the late Prof. (Doc) Hannah. Doc's former student Bill Galloway has been the major technical resource in recent years. This program progressed over the years from adulticiding with DDT to organophosphates like malathion, which was abandoned in 1982 after research involving proper controls and replication at the Rec Centre Golf Course found that following adulticiding with malathion the adult mosquito numbers rose in the sprayed area above those of the controls.

Around this same time the province held Clean Environment Commission Hearings in Winnipeg on mosquito control. Expert testimony from across Canada was heard and the commission concluded that adulticiding was both a waste of time and money. This is why most major centres across Canada abandoned adulticiding -- Winnipeg being the major exception, despite having data that indicated rises in mosquito numbers following the spraying of malathion.

Following these conclusions, Brandon shifted to a larviciding program first with synthetic products and in recent years with a biological insecticide specific to mosquito larvae. Doc and his students rigorously mapped the areas around and in the city that can trap water in wet years and rigorously sampled for larvae and treated accordingly.

Neighbourhoods were monitored and patrolled for standing water locations. This program has been extremely successful, and this is not the first council to be lobbied for adulticiding. In fact in the very large flood years, counts obtained with traps exceeded those measured today with new traps that attract more mosquitoes by emitting higher carbon dioxide levels. The removal of neighbourhood traps and reductions in larviciding staff in recent years have totally "fogged" the real status of mosquito populations within the city.

Recently, Brandon enacted a progressive Cosmetic Pesticide By-Law based on a full debate and review of the science and the dramatically changing nature of pest control in the world. All councillors and the mayor supported this bylaw.

As part of this bylaw a pesticide management committee was established with the responsibility to review the by-law annually and to advise on the infestation aspect of the bylaw. This committee also has responsibility to address requests for buffer zones.

Council clearly and deliberately by-passed their own bylaw on the basis of not even identified complaints. Citizens who wish a buffer zone have to submit a written request with a medical certificate to the committee, yet citizens who want to challenge the pesticide practice of the city for purely cosmetic reasons only need file an alleged complaint.

What is the magic number? Does a complaint to one's councillor and the mayor count as two? Clearly this was not a scientific poll with a citizenry equipped with the pros and cons of the issue!

As a consequence of the totally unnecessary enforcement by the province of malathion spraying in Brandon in 2007, I carried out a total review of the medical and scientific literature on malathion, mosquito control effectiveness and protection from West Nile virus. This was published nationally in the late summer of 2007 in the Bulletin of the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and it is available free on their website.

The conclusion again is that adulticiding with malathion is not an effective mosquito control measure and that malathion is toxic to some segments of our population, particularly toddlers and developing children.

It is also noted that the most effective protection from mosquito vectors of diseases like West Nile and nuisance mosquitoes is the use of repellent and all of the other advice given to Manitobans who live outside Brandon and Winnipeg.

As in the 2007 sprayings, I put out plastic spreadsheets again Saturday evening when my neighbourhood was being fogged. This time there were absolutely no insects on either spreadsheet! My back yard (not fogged) and back lane (not fogged) are still infested.

One way that we might increase the effectiveness of fogging would be for the mayor and council to wear dark clothing, have a salty meal, wear a floral or fruity cologne, work up a sweat and run in front of the spray truck to attract mosquitoes from cover in the vegetation!

BILL PATON
Brandon

* © 2010 Brandon Sun. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.brandonsun.com/opinion/lette ... html?thx=y

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June 29, 2010

Brandon Sun

City back to following mosquito control policy

By: Colleen Cosgrove

The city may have overturned its 30-year unofficial policy not to fog for nuisance mosquitoes, but as of this week, it's back to following the rule book, city parks and recreation director Rick Bailey says.

Temporary buffer zones that 102 residents registered for prior to city crews hitting the streets with truck loads of malathion Friday and Saturday night will also lapse.

"At the end of the day, the approach that we took by allowing people to phone their requests in, we did that because of the short notice that we wanted to spray in. Now, that process will definitely go back to what's mandated on the (pesticide management) permit," Bailey said.

As outlined in the pesticide management bylaw, residents must submit a formal letter of request to register their property as a buffer zone. When the policy was temporarily waived Thursday, the list skyrocketed from a dozen to 114 registered buffer zones by Saturday night. A doctor's note isn't required for adulticiding programs; only for annual lawn care type pesticide applications.

Although each buffer zone is 100 metres, or about one city block, Bailey says he's confident that the mosquito population has been at least temporarily decimated.

"I am happy with our controls. There's no doubt the buffers eliminate a real strong control across the board but I don't think (the buffer zones) defeated the purpose," he said. "It still allowed us to do the fringe areas and a lot of hot spots across the city, so we've definitely reduced the population."

The city is currently on the lookout for additional supplies of malathion so the fringe areas of the city and hot spots like along the riverbank can be targeted one last time -- likely on the weekend, Bailey said. Buffer zone requests will be honoured until the end of this week only. Afterwards, the normal procedure is reinstated.

If West Nile-carrying Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are found in high concentration in city traps, the province could mandate, as it did in 2007, that the city fog again. At that point, no buffer zone requests are honoured and every inch of the city is fogged.

* © 2010 Brandon Sun. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.brandonsun.com/local/city-ba ... html?thx=y

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Bug-spray opponents in Winnipeg may lose right to say 'no' s

Postby adminjt » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:57 am

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Warning Industry Propaganda Below
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26/06/2010

Winnipeg Free Press

Bug-spray opponents in Winnipeg may lose right to say 'no' to spray

By: Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - There are some issues that touch a nerve so deep they can pit neighbour against neighbour and erupt into shouting matches or violence.

The debate over the use of chemicals to battle mosquitoes in Winnipeg fits that description and is being reopened by a councillor who knows he is picking at a sore spot.

"Candidly, I worry about some of these emotions bubbling over. If you could hear people who phone in, they're not very pleased," Gord Steeves, who represents the St. Vital ward, said in an interview.

This spring has been particularly bad for mosquitoes in the city. A wet May followed by a hot mid-June has led to an invasion of the tiny bloodsuckers. Steeves and other councillors have been inundated with phone calls from people who say they can't go into their backyard without being swarmed.

The city uses the pesticide malathion to kill mosquitoes whenever their numbers skyrocket. A fleet of trucks patrols city streets at night and sprays the pesticide into the air at an ultra-low dose rate of 60.8 grams per hectare.

While most residents welcome "fogging," as it's called, some are concerned that malathion weakens immune systems and can cause severe allergic reaction. Opponents can register to have a buffer zone around their home that forbids spraying anywhere within 100 metres of their property, which means their neighbours don't get fogged either.

That's where confrontations can begin.

"I have faced outright hatred," said Glenda Whiteman, one of the most outspoken critics of malathion, who was arrested in 2004 and 2005 for trying to block the fogging trucks. "I had my home broken into. I had nasty, nasty emails and attempts to derail my computer."

Most of the time people are a little more polite. Those who register for a buffer zone may face a harsh word or two from their neighbours, or maybe a sudden iciness at a party.

"We had everybody over for a neighbourhood barbecue last year, and we ended up eating inside because of the bugs," Colleen Bilyk, a resident of the city's tony Southdale suburb recalled. One of her neighbours had registered for a buffer zone and casually mentioned it at the party, unaware that her no-spray area included almost the entire block.

"We all started talking at once and told her, 'You know, you've affected all of us,' and then the look of horror on her face was very, very funny, actually," Bilyk said. This year, Bilyk's neighbour did not ask for a buffer zone.

Who applies for a no-spray zone is a well-kept secret. Residents can call city hall to find out if they live in a malathion-free area, but city hall will not tell them which of their neighbours asked for it, in part because of provincial privacy laws.

"Even if we had the power to release names, I'd be very afraid to do that because I think there would be problems. Emotions do get to that level," Steeves said. "(It) drives people around the bend."

Steeves, with the support of most of his fellow councillors, has asked city officials to review the size of the buffer zones. He'd like to see them shrunk by half. Another councillor wants the buffer zones eliminated.

Mayor Sam Katz has gone further and asked for a review of the entire mosquito-fighting program, including whether malathion should be replaced by another chemical such as permethrin, which is used in Grand Forks, N.D., and is sometimes applied by airplane to blanket the entire city.

Fogging opponents don't want the buffer zones reduced. While malathion is approved by Health Canada for use at low volumes as an insecticide, critics say it can lead to severe health problems, especially for those with chemical sensitivities.

Whiteman says she has suffered abdominal pain, severe fatigue, dizziness and other symptoms and has moved out of the city.

"I can't set foot inside the Perimeter (Highway), much less a 100-metre buffer zone."

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/greenp ... 21524.html

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June 27, 2010

Brandon Sun

Crews target skeeter hot spots

By: Jillian Austin

City crews have been busy fogging for mosquitoes, in hopes of cutting down on the pesky population.

Half of the city -- all areas south of Victoria Avenue -- were completed by 1:30 a.m. on Friday. The northern half was to be completed late Saturday night or early this morning, weather permitting.

City parks and recreation director Rick Bailey said there are hot spots in the northern half of the city that they specifically wanted to target.

"The riverbank corridor is a real ideal breeding zone," Bailey said, adding some areas off of the river with standing water, and the golf course are also breeding spots.

"It's one of the prime areas where numbers are very high," he said.

Close to 110 no-spray buffer zones have been requested by property owners who did not want the malathion spray near their homes.

Spray crews must respect a 100-metre radius around each property registered as a buffer zone.

Bailey said all the zone requests make it a bit difficult for the crews.

"There's no doubt about it. They are difficult," he said. "You're spraying in the dark ... and at the end of the day when you have buffers like that, it does impact the control zone you're trying to achieve through this program."

Bailey said once the south and north portions of the city are sprayed, they will be taking a look at the results on Monday.

"Then we'll decide if we need to do another control around the buffer," he said, adding they may spray certain hot spots again if necessary.

The city decided to reverse its 30-year policy not to use chemical fogging to control the mosquito population, after a particularly bad season. City hall received hundreds of phone calls and emails from frustrated residents requesting the reversal.

© 2010 Brandon Sun. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.brandonsun.com/local/crews-t ... html?thx=y

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June 27, 2010

Brandon Sun

Buffer zones a foggy issue

"I thought this was supposed to be a proactive measure. If there gets to be so many buffer zones in the city, isn't it kind of defeating the purpose?"

-- Brandon resident Michelle Hood

Brandon city council made a smart decision last week. Then they dumbed it down real good.

In response to an outcry of incredible proportions from residents fed up with what a city official termed an "outrageous" number of mosquitoes this year, Mayor Dave Burgess did a quick phone survey of councillors mid-week and made the kind of good and fast decision we would wish council could accomplish more often.

For the first time in some 30 years, Brandon would fog for so-called nuisance mosquitoes after trap counts numbered in the thousands.

The city has fogged for public health reasons when the West Nile virus-carrying Culex tarsalis reached dangerous levels, but this would be the first time that the trucks would be spraying mostly to suppress the population of the earlier skeeter, Aedes vexans.

The decision made headlines in Winnipeg and the mayor was even on CBC Radio explaining the rationale for council's landmark decision.

The problem this year was that the city's larviciding program just didn't work due to the heavy and persistent rainfalls.

In Winnipeg, the entire city has already been fogged. Crews are continuing to fog areas, with some neighbourhoods done twice.

What is different this year in the provincial capital is that city council there voted to ask the province -- which licenses the city's use of pesticides -- to re-examine the decades old practice of placing pesticide-free buffer zones around homes.

The problem is, if enough anti-fogging advocates request the 100-metre buffer zones, entire neighbourhoods can end up being left out of the malathion fog. And that's now happening in Brandon.

While some people have legitimate medical concerns, we suspect most others simply oppose the spraying program for ideological reasons.

And the argument then becomes: Should the minority be allowed to overrule the majority, effectively negating the efforts of our elected officials at city hall?

When the spraying program was announced late week, there were 12 registered buffer zones.

As of late Friday, there were more than 100 -- with the number expected to swell -- which began to take over a large areas of the city, as shown in a front page map in yesterday's print and online editions of the Brandon Sun.

So how could so many people get so many buffer zones so quickly? The city suspended the rules on who can get be excluded.

As part of the city's annual pesticide management bylaw, residents must submit a formal letter and a doctor's note citing health reasons if they want their property listed as a buffer zone.

This year, that policy has been waived.

"Technically, by the permit, we are supposed to respect that (rule) ... but because we're spraying for adult mosquitoes for the first time, this program is unique so we wanted to be easy to work with," parks and recreation director Rick Bailey told the Sun.

So while the great majority of city residents were relieved to hear that council would spray for the insects that were ruining summer, the program was left watered down as the city then waived the buffer zone requirement rules to be politically correct.

That meant one objector -- whether having a medical condition or not -- could leave an entire city block unsprayed.

That's just a slap in the face to people who support the mosquito spraying program.

© 2010 Brandon Sun. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.brandonsun.com/opinion/buffe ... html?thx=y

=======================
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Panicked reaction no reason to start fogging for skeeters

Postby adminjt » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:04 am

June 23, 2010

Brandon Sun

Letters to the Editor

Panicked reaction no reason to start fogging for skeeters

I hope the province and the city's entymologists don't bring on the malathion marathon for Brandon's backyard barbecuers as they always do to Winnipeg. We haven't seen the dragonfly hatch yet, but it will be happening soon ... provided they don't get dosed to death by a panicked reaction to mosquitoes.

JOHN JACOBSON
Brandon

© 2010 Brandon Sun. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.brandonsun.com/opinion/lette ... html?thx=y

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Warning Industry Propaganda Below
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June 25, 2010

Winnipeg Free Press

Full steam ahead for skeeter fogging
Nightly trap counts too high: city

By: Aldo Santin

Mosquito fogging will continue each evening until the numbers found nightly in traps consistently fall below 100.

City of Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart said Thursday the entire city and the urban areas of West St. Paul and East St. Paul have been fogged and a second round began Wednesday night.

The number of mosquitoes found in traps continues to exceed 100, Stuart said, adding as long as that remains the case the city will continue fogging neighbourhoods.

"Fogging... will continue as long as the trap counts remain in the range of 100 or so in one or more quadrants of the city," Stuart said Thursday near the duck pond at St. Vital Park.

Stuart said the combination of excessive rainfall in the past three weeks, warm temperatures and the current nuisance adult mosquito population have resulted in high numbers of mosquitos in traps, adding that justifies the continued fogging program.

The first neighbourhoods to get the second round of fogging include Charleswood, St. James and Brooklands.

The northern part of Winnipeg, including West Kildonan, North Kildonan and East Kildonan were to be fogged Thursday night, along with East St. Paul and West St. Paul.

Stuart said he will immediately begin a review of the city's mosquito treatment program, as instructed Wednesday by city council.

Stuart said his review will include looking at treatment programs now in use across North America, adding Winnipeg remains the only large city in Canada with a nuisance mosquito treatment program.

Stuart said individual property owners are free to apply their own mosquito treatments if they find they fall within the buffer zones where fogging is prohibited or if they don't believe the city's program is working.

The buffer zones -- where fogging is not conducted -- do not apply to private property owners, Stuart said.

However, he added individuals should ensure the treatment doesn't stray from their property and that it is administered according to the product instructions.

Stuart said that the malathion used in the nightly fogging program breaks down into water and other non-toxic elements on contact with objects. He said it's not necessary for homeowners to wash outdoor play and patio equipment after their neighbourhood has been fogged.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Mosquito math:

the average number of mosquitos in traps from Wednesday was 100

the highest count, 120, was found in the city's northwest

the average count in the northeast was 108

the southeast had an average count of 88

the average count in the southwest was 83.

Enlarge Image
JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Homeowners are within their rights to spray their own yards for mosquitoes if they feel the city fogging program isn�t adequate.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/ ... 39729.html

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June 24 2010

Grand Forks Herald

Policy clouds Manitoba’s fight against mosquitoes

Winnipeggers are wondering which is worse: the stings from hordes of mosquitoes or the city’s implementation of its ineffective spraying policy. Eliminating the bloodsuckers in Winnipeg is at the mercy of a control policy that is dependent on residents and private businesses allowing their property to be sprayed. The same policy exists in Grand Forks.

By: James R. Johnson, Grand Forks Herald

Winnipeggers are wondering which is worse: the stings from hordes of mosquitoes or the city’s implementation of its ineffective spraying policy.

Eliminating the bloodsuckers in Winnipeg is at the mercy of a control policy that is dependent on residents and private businesses allowing their property to be sprayed. The same policy exists in Grand Forks.

Winnipeg boasts Canada’s largest municipal mosquito control program, monitoring 40 to 50 species in a 185-square-mile city of 750,000 people, compared with 19.2 square miles and 55,600 in Grand Forks, plus five square miles and 7,800 people in East Grand Forks.

Ground spraying in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks is triggered by an average mosquito trap count of 100 or the presence of West Nile virus-carrying Culex tarsalis mosquitoes in the city traps. Spraying was scheduled Thursday night when the morning trap count was 38. The cities have sprayed seven times since May.

Winnipeg’s mosquito trap counts have averaged close to 400, according to CBC News. Some have gone as high as 1,000, the worst outbreak since 2005. How bad is it up north? Residents have raided store shelves of repellents, are hesitant to go outside during the day and make sure their windows are closed at night.

The city did not break out its fogging guns and 18 spraying trucks until June 19.

Distance and time

Two initiatives to untangle the mosquito-spraying red tape were delivered to Winnipeg City Hall this week by two of its powerful politicians.

Councilman Gord Steeves wants to re-examine what he calls an “extremely volatile, divisive and misunderstood” buffer-zone policy. Homeowners can register their property on a do-not-spray list — the city leaves a 328-foot buffer around a registered property, a zone that can cover 32 to 40 houses in a neighborhood.

Grand Forks residents also can apply for a buffer zone.

“There’s nobody on the list,” said Todd Hanson, mosquito control supervisor for Grand Forks Public Health. “If someone doesn’t want their property sprayed, we honor that until Culex tarsalis are present, then it’s not an option.”

Taz Stuart, Winnipeg’s mosquito control officer, said the same rule applies to his city with the addition that a scientific committee determines a public health risk. Stuart said the presence of buffer zones makes it difficult to obtain permits to use aerial spraying to attack the swarms.

Steeves said buffer zones are excessive.

“My sense is we should be able to apply a chemical in an envelope that could suitably protect somebody in a much smaller bubble than that,” Steeves told the Winnipeg Free Press.

Sam Katz, Winnipeg mayor, wants to speed up Winnipeg’s entire fogging policy. Right now, before fogging trucks can start spraying, the city must have average trap counts above 25 insects for three days straight, one quadrant of the city must have a trap count of more than 100 mosquitoes and 48 hours notice must be given to the public.

“By that time, you know what the mosquito trap counts are? In the hundreds and thousands,” Katz told the Winnipeg Free Press.

Chemical concerns

Fogging may be ordered by the province when Manitoba Health determines the threat of West Nile virus demands the use of pesticides, as it did in 2005. Winnipeg is the only major city in Canada that uses the insecticide Malathion to control mosquitoes, but there’s pressure to move toward more environmentally friendly products.

Before the spread of West Nile virus, Malathion was used on a regular basis during summer months to kill nuisance mosquitoes, but homeowners were allowed to exempt their properties if they chose, creating the buffer zone policy.

Hanson said Malathion was used years ago in both Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. He said it’s an effective product but he’s discontinued using it for a few reasons.

“It puts mosquitoes into a feeding frenzy before they die,” Hanson said. “It’s an offensive smell, and it’s very corrosive.”

The insecticide is said to have a relatively low toxicity to humans, but Hanson said the people most at risk from Malathion are mosquito-control employees.

Review begins

Winnipeg’s City Council voted Wednesday night to have administrators review the mosquito control policy and report back in about a month. The review will consider:

- Reducing the size of buffer zones or scrapping them altogether.

- Phasing out Malathion in favor of a safer product called Permethrin, which is used by Grand Forks Public Health. Problem is, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency hasn’t approved Permethrin for battling the bugs. Another problem: Permethrin is five times more expensive than Malathion.

Stuart, the mosquito control officer, said last weekend’s spraying reduced average trap numbers this week in Winnipeg from a high of 144 to a low of 63. The average count Thursday was 100, with very low numbers of Culex tarsalis.

The Winnipeg Free Press and the Winnipeg Sun contributed to this report. Reach Johnson at (701) 780-1262; (800) 477-6572, ext. 262; or send e-mail to jjohnson2@gfherald.com.

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/a ... id/166569/

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Friday, June 25, 2010

City to check out U.S. skeeter battle

By PAUL TURENNE, Winnipeg Sun

The review city staff have been asked to conduct on Winnipeg's mosquito control program will include methods used in Grand Forks.

The situation in North Dakota with respect to at least two major factors — buffer zones and chemical options — is very different than it is here.

Todd Hanson, supervisor of the Grand Forks Public Health mosquito control program, said the city, located about two hours south of Winnipeg, does have a list for people who don't want their properties sprayed, but it doesn't create nearly the amount of conflict as Winnipeg's for one simple reason.

"Nobody's on our list right now," Hanson said Thursday. "I guess the culture in our communities is different. It's not a problem for us."

Hanson said Grand Forks uses permethrin-based products to spray for adult nuisance mosquitoes and for those that carry diseases like West Nile Virus. Hanson said he prefers that product because he feels it is safer for staff to handle than Malathion — which Winnipeg uses, making it the only major city in Canada to do so — and has other advantages like creating no offensive smell.

However, Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart said permethrin-based products cannot be used in Canada for ultra low-volume applications like adult mosquito fogging in large cities like Winnipeg because they have not fully reviewed by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

"Our toolbox is extremely limited. We're using all the tools we have," Stuart said, noting he would suggest to council that they consider using permethrin if it received federal approval.

There's another problem though.

"It's a very pricey product," Stuart said. "It's about five times the cost of Malathion."

Winnipeg does use permethrin in a more limited capacity for "residual" treatment, but not in fogging operations, he said.

City council voted Wednesday to give Stuart and his department 30 days to review several aspects of Winnipeg's mosquito control policy.

This includes the impact and desirability of buffer zones, treatment alternatives, guidelines for adulticiding (fogging) and larviciding, and the feasibility of fogging the entire city in one day as opposed to up to seven.

The city also asked Stuart to compare Winnipeg's program with that of Grand Forks — which came as news to Hanson, who said he knew nothing of it until he was contacted by the Winnipeg Sun Thursday.

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipe ... 01241.html

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24/06/2010

Winnipeg Free Press

High trap counts prompt city to start second round of fogging

By: Aldo Santin

Taz Stuart says the high amount of rain in the past three weeks, warm temperatures and the current nuisance adult mosquito population, justify further fogging.

Enlarge Image

Taz Stuart says the high amount of rain in the past three weeks, warm temperatures and the current nuisance adult mosquito population, justify further fogging. (KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES)

Weather conditions are keeping mosquito trap counts high, prompting the City of Winnipeg to begin a second round of fogging.

Taz Stuart, the city entomologist, said the high amount of rain in the past three weeks, warm temperatures and the current nuisance adult mosquito population, justify further fogging.

"We have successfully (fogged) the entire city," Stuart said this morning during a news conference near the duck pond in St. Vital Park. "We are starting our second treatment."

Stuart said the northern areas of Winnipeg will be fogged tonight, along with the urban areas of East St. Paul and West St. Paul.

Wednesday night, city crews began a second round of spraying in Charleswood, St. James and Brooklands.

Stuart said he will immediately begin a review of the city's mosquito treatment program, as instructed Wednesday by Mayor Sam Katz and his Executive Policy Committee.

Stuart said his review will include looking at treatment programs now in use across North America, adding that Winnipeg remains the only large city in Canada with a nuisance mosquito treatment program.

The average number of mosquitos in traps from Wednesday was 100.

The Winnipeg Free Press would like to talk to individuals who have allowed the City of Winnipeg to place mosquito traps on their property. Please contact reporter Aldo Santin in confidence at 697-7252 or Aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/ ... 79654.html

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More Mosquito Fogging
CJOB's Tamara King reporting
6/24/2010

It's round two of mosquito fogging in Winnipeg. Crews will be spraying in the northeast and northwest parts of Winnipeg, a portion of the city centre and both East and West St. Paul. Crews were out in west Winnipeg Wednesday for the second time.

Some residents wonder whether they should clean off outdoor items like patio furniture and toys after the trucks pass by, but City of Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart says it's not necessary.

Stuart says he expects fogging will continue for the next few days, weather permitting.

http://www.cjob.com/News/Local/Story.aspx?ID=1245188

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Global TV:

Round 2 of mosquito fogging

Some North Kildonan residents are frustrated that their park has to be sprayed with Malathion again.

"I love going outside but right now it's just unbearable." said Ronald Ramilo as he walks through Kildonan Park on Thursday.

"If you're not spraying the whole city it will just fly to whatever." said Ramilo.

It took 5 days to fog the entire city and it could be several more before we see some relief.

"In some cases it's not just one treatment, you're only getting 2 or 3 days of reduced activity, that's why we have to go back to certain areas again to reduce that threshold of 100." said Winnipeg Entomologist Taz Stuart.

Some areas like Charleswood have already been treated twice since last Saturday.

Stuart has been ordered by city council to explore other options when it comes to battling the blood suckers including the mosquito fighting practices in Grand Forks where that city is fogged in just one day - including from the air.

While Grand Forks is a much smaller city, Stuart says it could be a reality here if Winnipeg had more resources.

"They have a larger tool box of mosquito control products our tool box is extremely limited." said Stuart.

Right now the city has 20 fogging trucks, but it would need 51 to complete the job in one day.

No word on how much that could cost.

Stuart says he's also exploring alternatives to Malathion even though it's the only chemical approved for fogging in Canada right now.

The following areas will be sprayed Thursday night, starting at 9:30pm.

1 Kilcona Park, River East, Springfield North, Valhalla

2 Kildonan Drive, Rossmere A

3 Eaglemere, Grassie, McLeod Industrial, North Transcona Yards, Springfield South, Valley Gardens

4 Munroe West, Rossmere B

6 East Elmwood, Kildonan Crossing, Munroe East, Talbot Grey, Tyne Tees

7 Griffin, Meadows, Peguis, Radisson, Regent, Victoria West

42 Central Park, Colony, Daniel McIntyre, Portage - Ellice, Spence, West Alexander

44 Burrows - Keewatin, Inkster Industrial Park, Mynarski, Pacific Industrial, Shaughnessy Park, Weston, Weston Shops

45 Burrows Central, Robertson, William Whyte

46 Centennial, China Town, Civic Centre, Dufferin, Dufferin Industrial, Exchange District, Logan C.P.R., Lord Selkirk Park, North Point Douglas, South Point Douglas

47 Inkster - Faraday, Luxton, St. John's, St. John's Park

48 Inkster Gardens, Mandalay West, The Maples

49 Garden City, Leila - McPhillips Triangle, Margaret Park, Templeton - Sinclair

50 Jefferson, Kildonan Park, Seven Oaks

51 Amber Trails, Leila North, Riverbend, Rivergrove, Rosser - Old Kildonan, West Kildonan Industrial

Urban areas of East and West St. Paul

Mosquitos in trap
Photo Credit: Global TV, Winnipeg

http://www.globalwinnipeg.com/Round+mos ... story.html

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

CBC News

Brandon fogs for mosquitoes

The City of Brandon is preparing to fog for nuisance mosquitoes — something it hasn't done in 30 years.

The infestation has been so bad in Brandon that City Hall has been inundated with calls from residents demanding something be done.

"Trying to mow the back yard, you're eaten alive. And then you're squashing ones with blood. I mean, nobody needs to tolerate that," said Coun. Murray Blight.

Parks and Recreation director Rick Bailey has never seen mosquito numbers as high as they are this year. Part of it is because the city's larviciding program just didn't work this year.

Larvicide is sprayed on pools of standing water where mosquitoes like to breed. It kills mosquito larvae before they become flying, biting adults.

The rains have been so heavy and prolonged this year the city could not keep up.

"[And] some of these areas we just can't get access to do a good larvicide control. So, of course populations have just exploded," Bailey said
.
Fogging begins Friday

Fogging trucks will be out Friday and Saturday starting at 10 p.m. A 100-metre buffer zone will be observed for residents who register for it.

That means city crews will turn off the malathion fogging machine in a 100-metre zone around those areas.

The only time crews have fogged Brandon in the past three decades was when the number of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes was high. That type of mosquito can carry and transmit the West Nile virus.

Nuisance mosquitoes are more harmless but just as annoying. Until now, residents in Brandon had to take matters into their own hands.

Kevin Deg, manager of the Canadian Tire in town said bug spray, mosquito traps and citronella candles have been flying off the shelves.

"People want to sit in their back yards, so they are looking for mosquito magnets, skeeter-vacs, that sort of thing, just to try and control it somehow so they can at least sit outside and enjoy it," he said.
Second round in Winnipeg

Crews from Winnipeg's Insect Control Branch (ICB) have been out nightly since fogging began Saturday.

The entire city and the urban areas of East and West St. Paul have now been treated, while some areas with highest mosquito populations have received a second treatment.

In order for fogging to be started, at least one of the four quadrants of the city where traps are set, there must be a minimum of 100 female adult mosquitoes caught (females are the ones that bite).

More than 1,000 mosquitoes have been recently found in some traps while the city-wide average is close to 400.

Fogging will continue as long as city trap counts remain in the range of 100, the city stated in a news release Thursday.

The city's fogging schedule is available through the link at the top right of this page.

Nuisance mosquitoes have become so unbearable in Brandon that the city has decided to fog for the first time in 30 years.Nuisance mosquitoes have become so unbearable in Brandon that the city has decided to fog for the first time in 30 years. (CBC)

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story ... z0rqrYTnHL


Victoria Ward No. 3
Councillor Murray Blight
5 Premier Avenue
Brandon, MB, R7B 3P5
(Home): (204) 725-8102
Email: m.blight@brandon.ca

http://www.city.brandon.mb.ca/main.nsf/Pages+By+ID/683

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June 25, 2010

Brandon Sun

Mosquito fogging to start Friday night

By: Brandon Sun

Although the city has long held that it would only fog when ordered to by the province -- usually to prevent the spread of West Nile virus -- an explosion of nuisance mosquitoes had councillors calling for a change.

"City council believes that this fogging is necessary to control the unusually severe mosquito infestation currently being experienced in the City", Brandon mayor Dave Burgess said in a press release.

Weather permitting, half of the city will be fogged the evening of Friday, June 25, with the remainder of the city to be fogged Saturday evening. First up will be the south half of the city, from Victoria Avenue to two miles south of Patricia Avenue and from 66th Street to 49th Street East.

On Saturday night, city crews will tackle the north half, from Victoria Avenue to Sandison Road at the airport an from 66th Street to 49th Street East.

Fogging will start at 10 p.m. and trucks will run until 6 a.m.

In the event the spraying application can not be completed in this time frame, city crews will complete their spraying Sunday night. If spraying is cancelled due to weather conditions, adult mosquito control will be carried out as soon as weather permits.

The pesticide product to be used for ground based spraying is malathion dispersed by an ultra low volume cold aerosol sprayer.

Activities to reduce exposure to malathion:

* Close all windows and doors
* Stay away from working trucks while spraying is underway
* Fans and air conditioners should be turned off or set at exhaust
* Remove clothes and children’s toys from outdoor areas
* Wash any household items or toys left outside before use
* Ensure fruits and vegetables brought inside are washed before consumed

For information on malathion, please see the PMRA website at www.hc-c.gc.ca/pmra-arla.

Beginning at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings and running through both nights, the Parks Department phone line will be open for information, please call 729-2148.
For the complete story, see Friday's Brandon Sun.

CP Enlarge Image

Reversing a decades-long policy, the city of Brandon will fog for nuisance mosquitoes starting tomorrow night.

* © 2010 Brandon Sun. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.brandonsun.com/breaking-news ... html?thx=y

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24/06/2010

Brandon Sun

To spray or not to spray?

By: Allison Dowd

Responding to what he says has been an overwhelming number of complaints from his ward residents, Brandon city councillor Murray Blight has asked for a review of the city's mosquito control policy.

For the better part of three decades, the city's unofficial policy has been not to undertake chemical fogging to control the nuisance mosquito population.

Instead, the focus is placed on larviciding with an environmentally friendly chemical in areas of standing water to kill the pests before they hatch.

But this year's late-spring downpours and subsequent hot and humid weather led to an extremely quick hatch of the pesky bloodsuckers last week, leaving Brandonites to feel the bite.

It's enough of a problem that Blight (Victoria) believes the city's long-standing policy might need some massaging.

"We need to look at the policy and see whether there are conditions ... where we look at the fog control," he said.

"People are saying, 'Why should we be subjected to (going out) to utilize our backyards and decks and be eaten by mosquitoes?' "A policy is a guideline ... policy can be corrected and have changes made accordingly."

Mayor Dave Burgess is certainly receptive to the idea of ordering nuisance mosquito fogging in cases of extreme infestation.

"I've never experienced more feedback on an issue than we have this week with the mosquito problem ... and I'm right there with them," Burgess said.

"I really do like us avoiding spraying at all costs, but if it's extreme problems -- which we are experiencing now -- that raises the question of 'is this perfect?' It can never perfect what choice we have for the control of mosquitoes, one way or the other. But this example, I believe it's extreme and I would support spraying."

If any amount of nuisance mosquito fogging were to take place in the future, it would have to respect the community buffer zones that have been established through the city's pesticide management program, he added.

And while Coun. Jim McCrae (Meadows) agrees a policy review is a good idea, he's hopeful such a review will look at both the good and the bad sides of fogging with chemicals such as malathion.

"It is a pesky problem," McCrae said. "But I think I would like to (know) a little bit more about the effectiveness of this fogging. I'm not ready to just jump out there and say let's just spray without worry and care for the consequences."

The city's director of parks and recreation, Rick Bailey, says the city's mosquito abatement program was last reviewed internally in 1999 and its no-fogging policy was reaffirmed at that time.

He'll be recommending to council to stay that course into the future.

"That being said, if council wants to bring it forward and overturn that decision and have us spray ... ultimately, they make the final decision," Bailey said. "But from our side of it, we've weighed all the factors, and we say let's just stay the course."

The issue could be addressed at council's next regular meeting on July 19.

© 2010 Brandon Sun. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.brandonsun.com/local/to-spra ... html?thx=y

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June 22, 2010

Brandon Sun

Local mosquito surge 'outrageous'

By: Allison Dowd

It's the invasion of the bloodsuckers in Brandon.

After enjoying relatively low counts of nuisance mosquitoes so far this year, last week's torrential downpours and the hot, humid weather that followed have resulted in an explosion of the annoying critters across the Wheat City.
Related Items

"It's outrageous," says Rick Bailey, the city's director of parks and recreation. "Part of that is the fact that (with) this particular species, their eggs can sit dormant for long lengths of time, just waiting for conditions that will allow for good hatching, and that's what we've seen."

In fact, the number of nuisance mosquitoes buzzing around Brandon right now is so bad that the exact quantity of bugs in the city's half-dozen traps -- strategically placed in "hot spots" across the city -- can't even be accurately counted because they are simply too full, Bailey said.

But as bad as the current onslaught of mosquitoes may be, Brandonites are going to have to grin and bear it, Bailey warns, as the city's policy for 30-plus years has been not to fog for nuisance mosquitoes.

The city only undertakes malathion fogging if provincial health officials declare that the level of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes -- the variety known to carry the West Nile virus -- has reached the point where it increases the risk of infection in humans.

As of June 17, the province's West Nile surveillance program had not recorded any Culex mosquitoes in Brandon's traps.

"The fogging pesticide that's used can be harmful to beneficial insects (and) we have people in our community that have very high sensitivity to pesticides ... it just to make sense to just put up with these and if conditions dry up, we look forward to seeing a real drop in numbers," he said.

"We're trying to be a real green community and be a leader in things, this is just another step to it."

In the meantime, the city will continue its larviciding program, which targets larvae in standing water across the city with an environmentally friendly product. And there could be light at the end of the pest tunnel, he noted, as preliminary larvae counts this week appear to be down.

"The good news is, if conditions ever dry up and we get back to normal conditions in our community, this (nuisance) mosquito explosion could come to an end as quick as it came."

An increase in the dragonfly population is imminent, he added, which will help get rid of the skeeters because they are a natural predator of mosquitoes.


Heavy rain and hot weather has led to a big increase in the number of mosquitoes in Brandon.

FILE PHOTO Enlarge Image

1.
Polls
* What should the city do to deal with the mosquitoes this year?

© 2010 Brandon Sun. All Rights Reserved.

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adminjt
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Posts: 349
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Re: Insecticides - Killing Mosquitos via chemicals

Postby adminjt » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:06 am

June 24, 2010

Winnipeg Free Press

The great mosquito debate Have your say

A few days ago my neighbours and I marvelled at hundreds of dragonflies resting on the stucco of houses in my street, presumably satiated from eating mosquitoes all day. The following day after overnight fogging I could only find one dragonfly near my house but the mosquitoes were still there in large numbers. This is not surprising because dragonflies perch in open places where the fog easily kills them, whereas mosquitoes hide overnight in bushes and thick vegetation not easily penetrated by the fog and far from the fogging truck at the back of houses.

It seems to have become an urban myth that fogging eliminates mosquitoes. People desperate to escape mosquito bites are willing to believe in any remedy, like the placebo effect on people who feel better after taking a believable medical treatment that is actually completely ineffective. Also, politicians, like Coun. Gord Steeves, put out pro-fogging press releases probably hoping to gain votes in the next election.

The insect control branch keeps very quiet about the ineffectiveness of fogging, making it appear that the buffer zones are the cause of the failure of the program, thus diverting attention away from their failure to control mosquitoes.

PETER AITCHISON

Winnipeg

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Did anyone else catch the irony of publishing the gorgeous full-colour photo of the butterfly in Wolseley in the same issue as the intense coverage of the mosquito-fogging debate?

Just asking.

RUTH TARONNO

Winnipeg

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Re: City leaders itching for change by Bartley Kives (June 23). I understand that the City of Winnipeg cannot make any pertinent changes without the approval of the provincial government. Moreover, the buffer zones policy evolved as a result of serious health dangers the spraying of malathion represented for some exposed individuals. Thus the opposition to tampering with the buffer zones is not motivated by ideology but is an important health issue.

JEAN COTTAM

Ottawa

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By: Staff Writer

What the city seems to be missing is that it's not the fact of spraying that is so troublesome, it is the use of malathion that people don't want. I for one would have no problem with spraying for adult mosquitos if a pesticide was used that didn't harm all the other insects and bugs.

As I have not seen any thorough coverage on what other cities do, I took it upon myself to Google for the information and the results were most interesting. Hopefully, the following will also be of interest to others: Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton do not have a spraying program for adult nuisance mosquitoes. Nope, they all larvicide only, but with larger programs than Winnipeg uses. Also the individual city websites: Regina: larviciding does not harm beneficial insects; Saskatoon: controlling mosquito populations while in the larval stage is the safest and most effective way to control nuisance mosquitoes. Adulticides such as malathion are not required; Calgary: larviciding is the most efficient and effective control. Calgary uses only biorational means for larviciding which are products that are very specific and have little or no impact on other life forms. Helicopters are used to distribute a granular form of product to prevent drifting, they cover a large area in a short amount of time; Edmonton: larviciding. Eliminating larvae in standing water is considerably safer and more environmentally sound than controlling airborne adult mosquitos.

As you can see, these other Prairie cities have a completely different philosophy than Winnipeg. So we are the only city that still insists on using a pesticide that blankets the city and everything that lives in it.

That may not be so much of an issue if one application rid us of mosquitoes permanently but it doesn't. The next crop of adult nuisance mosquitos is generally not more than a week or so away, depending on weather conditions. What is wrong with this picture?

LESLIE YEOMAN
Winnipeg

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 49769.html

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Warning Industry Propaganda Below
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CBC News

Winnipeg to review mosquito control

Winnipeg's mosquito-control policy is going to get a comprehensive review.

City council approved a motion Wednesday by a vote of 13-1 to examine the methods Winnipeg uses to combat the bloodsucking insects.

The motion had earlier in the morning been discussed and recommended by the city's executive policy committee.

City administration has been directed to conduct the review immediately and report back at the next council meeting, in about a month.

Several councillors said they have besieged by calls from citizens complaining about the worst mosquito season in years.

'We've seen a steady rise in mosquito populations that are directly affecting the quality of life and potentially, the health of our citizens.'—Mayor Sam Katz

"Winnipeggers look forward to enjoying our wonderful summers, and we need to do our part to ensure everyone can enjoy them," said Mayor Sam Katz.

"With the severe rainfalls combined with the heat we've experienced, we've seen a steady rise in mosquito populations that are directly affecting the quality of life and potentially, the health of our citizens.

"We need to take a comprehensive review of our policy to ensure we are taking a balanced yet effective and progressive approach to mosquito control."

Among the things the review will consider is reducing the size of the controversial no-spray buffer zones, or scrapping them altogether.

Mosquitoes caught in city traps are studied in a lab to determine the presence of Culex tarsalis, which is the type that can carry and transmit the West Nile virus.Mosquitoes caught in city traps are studied in a lab to determine the presence of Culex tarsalis, which is the type that can carry and transmit the West Nile virus. (CBC)It will also look into the possibility of not spraying the insecticide malathion, but finding a more environmentally friendly product.

Trucks equipped with fogging machines spray malathion as they drive through the streets and lanes throughout Winnipeg. The chemical has been approved for such use by Health Canada, but the practice has sparked controversy.

Malathion is an insecticide that has been registered for use in Canada since the 1950s.

Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency says the insecticide is toxic to all insects, including those, like honeybees, considered beneficial to humans. It is considered highly toxic to fish and other aquatic animals.

However, the agency says the insecticide "displays low toxicity" to birds, butterflies and mammals and has determined it is acceptable for use in controlling adult mosquitoes.

Opponents to malathion say the chemical can weaken the immune system and cause cancer, birth defects, intestinal disorders, kidney problems and other health problems.

Coun. Scott Fielding suggested that residents who don't want to experience the fogging should stay inside.

"Ensuring that people are staying inside when the malathion is being sprayed probably makes more sense as opposed to these buffer zones," he said.
No-spray zone

Winnipeg residents can ask to have their properties put on a no-spray list, meaning city crews will turn off the malathion fogging machine in a 100-metre zone around their land.

A City of Winnipeg truck fogs a street with malathion.A City of Winnipeg truck fogs a street with malathion. (CBC)But in the context of an actual city block, a 100-metre buffer zone "can mean a non-application area of as many as 32 to 40 houses," Coun. Gord Steeves stated in a motion requesting the review of the city's control methods.

As part of the review, administrators will also look into what methods are used by other Canadian cities and whether any use buffer zones.

According to Todd Hanson, who is in charge of mosquito control just across the U.S. border in Grand Forks, N.D., that city uses permethrin — a biological adulticide that is safer for workers than the malathion Winnipeg uses.

"I guess what I shake my head at is that the synthetic pyrethroids aren't registered to be used in Winnipeg," he said.

Grand Forks residents can also apply for a buffer zone, but no one has yet this year, Hanson said.

"And once we start getting into the elevated risk of West Nile virus, when we start seeing the Culex tarsalis [the mosquito type that carries West Nile], that option no longer exists," he added.
Trap counts

The review will also look at whether the trap count required to begin fogging should be reduced.

Currently, in order for fogging to be started, two things must occur.

First, in at least one of the four quadrants of the city where traps are set, there must be at least 100 female adult mosquitoes caught (females are the ones that bite). And second, the average trap count throughout the city must be 25 female mosquitoes for three consecutive nights.

More than 1,000 mosquitoes have been recently found in some traps while the city-wide average is close to 400.

Fogging in Winnipeg began Saturday.

Winnipeg's mosquito-control program, including the controversial no-spray buffer zones, could soon be under review.Winnipeg's mosquito-control program, including the controversial no-spray buffer zones, could soon be under review. (Associated Press)

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story ... z0rjGRsthc

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June 24, 2010

Winnipeg Free Press

Province open to reviewing buffer-zone practice

By: Bartley Kives

THE Selinger government is willing to re-examine the 28-year-old practice of placing pesticide-free buffer zones around Winnipeg homes during mosquito season, pending a city review of its mosquito-control policy.

On Wednesday, city council voted 13-1 to give the city's insect control branch just under one month to review pre-emptive ways to kill adult mosquitoes, the conditions required to begin fogging, the size and effectiveness of fogging buffer zones, alternative means of controlling mosquitoes and the insect-control practices in place in Grand Forks, N.D.

Regardless of the recommendations that come forward from the city's insect experts, the province must be consulted because Manitoba Conservation licenses the city's use of pesticides.

Manitoba Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie made it clear the province considers the city request entirely reasonable.

"Given the fact the (buffer zone) policy goes back to 1982 and produces so much dissension, maybe there is some justification to have a look at it," Blaikie said in an interview.

"What we have is certainly not perfect. We certainly see there is justification for a review, but I don't want to prejudge the outcome of the city's own review."

Blaikie cautioned the province may not move on the buffer zone policy this year, if it moves at all. Mayor Sam Katz told reporters he believes there's a chance changes could be made this summer.

"In a perfect world, I hope we can get it done this year," he said outside his office. "I think you know as well as I do the province doesn't move that quickly.

With Winnipeg voters slated to go to the polls in October, reducing the size of buffer zones or eliminating them altogether would be a coup for Katz, who promised to do more to combat mosquitoes during his initial election campaign in 2004.

This summer, despite an initially successful larviciding program, heavy rains in late May created excellent conditions for another major emergence of nuisance mosquitoes. This prompted Katz to request a review of the city's entire mosquito-control policy, an idea most councillors support -- but not all for the same reasons.

Fort Rouge Coun. Jenny Gerbasi, a pesticide opponent, voted for the review because she hopes it might allow the city to finally move forward from its delayed transition from chemical pesticides such as malathion to biological alternatives. An expenditure of almost $4 million on this transition has been put off until 2011.

"You can call yourself the mosquito mayor, the rapid transit mayor, the environmental mayor and everything else before an election, but nothing has changed in six years," Gerbasi said to Katz during a heated exchange on the floor of council.

The mayor nonetheless pledged to spend more money on mosquito control in the future, if the report coming in July recommends doing so. Controlling mosquitoes this summer was a challenge because of the weather, he said.

The only councillor who voted against the policy review was Elmwood's Lillian Thomas, who said pesticide opponents will erect barricades and throw rocks if buffer zones are eliminated and notification warning periods are reduced.

North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty, meanwhile, argued the city should not wait for a report and should immediately ask the province for permission to eliminate buffer zones altogether.

A separate motion that focuses strictly on buffer zones, authored by St. Vital Coun. Gord Steeves, was directed to a June 28 protection and community services committee meeting.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/ ... 49849.html

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Winnipeg Sun

Blogs The Jerk
Skeeters: the eternal debate

By kevin.engstrom

For the 677th consecutive year in Winnipeg, mosquitoes are the big story of the summer, with everybody and their moms talking about it.

You’d think after all this time a tenable, long-lasting solution would come that satisfies a vast majority of people out of sheer good luck, if not political skill. But alas, that is not the case.

The latest chapter in the unending skeeter story continued at city hall today, with a debate over malathion buffer zones. It ended with a decision to avoid making a decision for another 30 days.

Don’t get me wrong, folks: I’m for mosquito fogging.

But I’m even more for ending this debate once and for all so we can move on to the next conversation, like whether the city can sustain an NHL franchise or what Harvey Smith is hiding underneath his beard (my theory: like Chuck Norris, it’s another fist).

City council failed voters today by not pushing this debate further, whether it be to dismiss the idea entirely or to ask the province to alter the rules on malathion spraying. They took the easy way out, choosing to talk tough while never actually taking any concrete action.

Oh well. Here’s hoping they grow a set next month.

http://www.winnipegsun.com/blogs/thejer ... 94736.html

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June 24, 2010

Winnipeg Sun

Most ’Peggers surveyed bash the buffer zone

By JASON HALSTEAD,

A small sampling of Winnipeggers were nearly unanimous in their support for scrapping the buffer-zone provision currently part of the city’s mosquito control fogging program.

On Wednesday, city council voted for a motion to review the city’s mosquito control policy that could include getting rid of or reducing the size of citizens’ requested fog exemption zones when city crews fog with the chemical Malathion.

Almost all of those surveyed said they’d put mosquito eradication ahead of any fears of health risks and disagreed with 100-metre buffer zones that result in numerous homes missing out on the benefits of neighbourhood fogging.

“It’s not fair,” said Cheryl Prosser, a West Kildonan resident. “That can be a lot of houses. Where I live, the houses are small and very close together.”

St. Boniface resident Anne-Marie Cooper would also like to see buffer zones ditched.

“I’ve been living with (Malathion) for how many years and nothing’s happened,” she said.

Tyndall Park resident Paul Bobiles said fogging exclusion zones for those with documented health problems should be allowed, but otherwise would like to see buffer zones go.

“To a certain extent, I think it would be a good idea,” Bobiles said. “Mosquitos affect a lot of people and it’s a real issue for neighbourhoods, not just for one house. There needs to be a legitimate reason (for a buffer zone) because mosquitos affect way too many people.”

East Kildonan resident Darryl van Herksen said the buffer zone policy should be maintained as it is.

“I think people should have a choice whether chemicals are sprayed on their yards,” van Herksen said.

He said he would be in favour of new mosquito-fighting strategies.

“Anything that is biologically safer would be better,” van Herksen said.

— Halstead

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipe ... 94671.html

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Winnipeg Sun

How do you spell relief? F-O-G

By


Mosquito fogging “buffer zones” have been in effect in our city for many years and the time has come to change that.

While mosquitoes are plaguing our city, those in power have decided that rather than take action, they’re going to study the matter further.

There’s no need. Listen to your constituents. They are overwhelmingly calling for a change and for that change to come right now.

The outcry has even reached city council, with several members calling for an immediate moratorium on buffer zones.

Even Mayor Sam Katz said, “People can’t get into their yards. They’re being held hostage.”

Coun. Grant Nordman (St. Charles) said: “The buffer zones affect way too many other residents for the few that they satisfy. Democracy rules, man.”

Wednesday’s online Sun poll asked readers: “Should the city suspend buffer zones for mosquito fogging as soon as West Nile virus carrying mosquitoes show up in traps?”

It was no contest. Ninety-two percent of nearly 900 voters called for an end to the buffer zones as soon as West Nile virus-carrying Culex tarsalis mosquitoes make an appearance.

By all means, when the West Nile mosquitoes aren’t present, no-fogging zones could be enforced, albeit with some modifications, but heed the public outcry and do away with them when the time comes.

Since the city is taking the time to study the issue, let’s make the 100-metre “buffer zones” a thing of the past. With the capabilities of the fogging vehicles, it’d be possible to skip only the specific addresses who wish to remain fog-free, allowing all those who want to be fogged to have their yards treated by the city. Then everyone can benefit from the fogging program, including those who don’t want the malathion used on their property.

The province still has to sign off on changes to the city’s fogging program. In the past, it has taken a special order from the provincial health department for fogging to happen in buffer zones.

It’s time to take the need for a special order out of the equation and give Winnipeggers the relief we all deserve.


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June 24, 2010

Winnipeg Free Press

The great mosquito debate Have your say

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Mosquitoes and politicians are rival pests.

It's all lip service to look good for the electorate. If they were really serious about alleviating the skeeter problem, they would pick a night, tell us all to stay in from 3 a.m. until 5 a.m., close all our windows and fly over the city with an airplane and get the entire spraying job done in one night.

They should also extend the airplane spray area to include a 10-kilometre buffer outside the Perimeter. We would be exposed to much less chemical for a much shorter period of time. I would guess we would also spend much less money this way and could have our city workers out doing other important jobs, like cleaning our streets and boulevards.

With the current pathetic method, they should also include spraying down both sides of the river bank by boat, to at least have a chance of making a tiny effect.

GEORGE ANDREWS
Winnipeg

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Why do our governments (provincial and civic) allow the citizens of Winnipeg to be held hostage by a minority of the hysterical and ill-informed?

For the non-hysterical portion of the population, it would take sustained, (ie: hours of) direct exposure at 100 times the concentration of malathion to have adverse health effects. I know that nothing any scientist can say will convince the flat-Earth society that the current dose of malathion is only dangerous to insects. So let's not try.

Let's just get rid of the ridiculous buffer zone. Unlike the hysterical 10 per cent who seem hell bent on telling me what's good for me, I'm not trying to take away their personal freedom. Don't spray their homes. I have no problem with that. However, I have a problem with being denied my entitlement to services that I've paid for with my taxes.

If my neighbour doesn't want his place sprayed, don't. But start the sprayer as soon as you hit my tree line. Why? Because I paid for it, I'm entitled to it and I want it.

DAVE FERGUSON
Winnipeg

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Mosquitoes continue to plague Winnipeg and the world -- bring back DDT. About 3,000,000 children die each year in Africa from malaria, largely because Western nations don't allow (through funding restrictions) the effective use of DDT, a product that previously had helped reduce infections of malaria. Even if some birds died, children lived.

Bed nets are not the sole answer as mosquitoes also bite during the day as any intelligent resident of Winnipeg well knows.

GARY COOPLAND
Winnipeg

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 49769.html

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June 24, 2010

Winnipeg Sun


Scratch — and study

Council calls for staff report on mosquitoes in 30 days

By JASON HALSTEAD, Winnipeg Sun

City council voted Wednesday to launch a review of its mosquito-control policy, a move that will also study the impact of buffer zones on Winnipeg’s fogging program.

The motion was put forth Wednesday morning by Mayor Sam Katz at an executive policy committee meeting before being passed by council with only Coun. Lillian Thomas (Elmwood) opposed.

It calls for a report in 30 days from city staff who will also consult with the City of Grand Forks, N.D., to learn about its measures to combat mosquitoes.

It’s unlikely the move will have any practical impact on the current mosquito situation — one of the worst in recent years due to heavy rains — as the provincial government regulates the permit for the city’s malathion fogging program and would have to approve any changes.

Katz is calling on the province to examine the buffer zone policy, which calls for a 100-metre protective area around residences where homeowners have objected to fogging.

“This is not knee-jerk in any way, shape or form,” Katz said of the review.

The mayor said the ball is in the province’s court as to how fast changes can be made.

“We’ll have our report in 30 days and is it possible for something to happen? Yes,” Katz said. “Is it likely? I think you know as well as I do that the province doesn’t usually move that quickly.”

Council passed the motion after a debate featuring some exchanges of heated rhetoric. Some councillors have called for immediate lifting of buffer zones while others questioned the short time frame of the study and argued the motion amounted to little more than political posturing.

Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) was not against the motion in principle, but questioned the timing of the study, especially during the peak season for the city’s insect control branch.

“All of a sudden we have a lot of rain and we’re moving a motion to change the policy in a couple of weeks with no public consultation and no proper process,” Gerbasi said. “This is not a way to run a city.”

Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) called for immediate action and took aim at councillors critical of the review.

“If you want further debate, if you want it stretched out, feel free to use my back yard without any insect repellent,” Browaty said. “Mosquitos need to be addressed now. We don’t need 30 days, we need to ask the province to immediately eliminate buffer zones.”

Others questioned the motivation behind the motion.

“Nothing is going to happen with this policy until next year because of the provincial government,” said Coun. Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre). “All this is doing is (allowing) the mayor and people who want to gain votes to use this as an election issue. I don’t mind the study, but 30 days is just ludicrous.”

The motion will also direct city staff to examine the guidelines regulating mosquito adulticiding campaigns and to explore alternate methods for mosquito control.

Winnipeg’s current mosquito situation is one of the worst in years in part due to heavy rains. (ROSS ROMANIUK/WINNIPEG SUN FILES)

jason.halstead@sunmedia.ca

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipe ... 94666.html

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Global TV:

City seeking new strategy in mosquito battle

The City of Winnipeg will study ways to overhaul it's mosquito-fighting methods - and may look south of the border for solutions to the swarms of blood suckers.

Council voted overwhelmingly Wednesday in favour of a motion put forward by Mayor Sam Katz directing city staff to review the current mosquito control policy. That includes another look at the controversial policy allowing 100 meter buffer zones around homes that don't want insecticide used on or near their property, and other "alternative methods of conducting larviciding and adulticiding operations."

Any changes the city plans on making will rely on the province's good will: the city's pesticide use permit is issued by the provincial government and permission to alter the terms would be required from provincial officials.

One of the changes being examined is the mosquito fogging method used in Grand Forks, North Dakota: where the whole city is fogged in one day. Winnipeg neighbourhoods are treated with the insecticide malathion on a piece-meal basis, and those operations are often delayed by weather.

Winnipeg's efforts to control mosquitoes has come under scrutiny this summer, as officials predict a record swarm of the blood suckers, spawned by standing water left by record rainfall. One city councillor proposed a motion calling for the size of the 100 meter buffer zones to be reviewed, as they are causing conflicts between neighbours. One buffer zone can exclude as many as 40 homes from being fogged in some neighbourhoods. Currently, the buffer zones can only be ignored if the province declares a public health emergency. But that is triggered by a threat such as West Nile virus, not mere nuisance mosquitoes.

Too many mosquitos are escaping fogging, according to a Winnipeg city councillor who wants to review the 100 meter buffer zone policy
Photo Credit: file, Global TV

© Copyright (c)

http://www.globalwinnipeg.com/City+seek ... story.html

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June 23, 2010

Winnipeg Sun

Buffers ‘infuriate’
Council may cut size of no-fog zones

By ROSS ROMANIUK,

Winnipeg’s buffer zones against anti-mosquito fog are bugging so many people that councillors are doing something about it.

Gord Steeves (St. Vital) is among several city councillors seeking regulatory changes that would reduce the size of citizens’ requested fog exemption zones, allowing the chemical malathion to be sprayed much closer to homes near those sites.

“We’re talking about a 16-house stretch,” Steeves said of the current 100-metre protective zones, saying they’re too large. “It is infuriating people in the community. It’s causing all sorts of fights, all sorts of acrimony. People are being victimized. It’s a terrible policy on the street.”

Due to a motion from Steeves, councillors will discuss the issue during a meeting on Wednesday.

The increasing opposition to the city’s longtime policy — which allows any homeowner a no-fog zone with a 100-metre radius around his or her residence, if requested to the insect control branch — comes as Mayor Sam Katz and councillors are being barraged by calls and e-mails from constituents outraged nearby buffers are keeping malathion away from their properties during a severe skeeter season.

“People can’t get into their yards. They’re being held hostage. And I’m getting more and more people discussing the situation with buffer zones,” Katz said.

“An entire block can be stopped from having spraying, because of the buffer zones.”

Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) said the exemption zones should be provided only to those who have medical proof they’re harmed by malathion.

“The tail is wagging the dog. The vast majority of citizens are in favour of malathion spraying,” said Coun. Grant Nordman (St. Charles). “The buffer zones affect way too many other residents for the few that they satisfy. Democracy rules, man.”

Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) said the policy could be re-examined, but in favour of a “progressive, environmentally safe policy” that doesn’t use nerve toxins.

Meanwhile, retailers are seeing customers buzzing around their shelves where anti-skeeter products are sold.

“People are just looking for this stuff like crazy. A big seller is the Off! PowerPad,” Tim Kelly, a merchandiser at Rona Home and Garden, said while showing such a lamp.

Kelly also pointed to propane-fuelled home foggers and mosquito “zappers” as popular. “It’s just been flying out,” he said of several such products.

“We just ordered 80 more foggers. The stock is being sold almost as fast as it’s being replenished.”

The size of buffer zones against anti-mosquito fog is 'infuriating' people. (ERROL MCGIHON/QMI AGENCY FILES)

ross.romaniuk@sunmedia.ca

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipe ... 82936.html

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June 18, 2010

Winnipeg Sun

Out come fogging guns as skeeters go crazy

By ROSS ROMANIUK,

Scram, skeeters — the city is gunnin’ for ya.

Winnipeg’s insect control branch will pull out its fogging guns on Saturday night, weather permitting, to wipe out as many adult nuisance mosquitoes as possible with the chemical malathion.

The summer’s first citywide fog run comes after heavy rain that has helped the bugs hatch. The numbers of trapped mosquitoes shot up Thursday morning to averages of 454 in Winnipeg’s northwest quadrant and 203 in the southeast.

“We’re seeing the result of all that water out there, and it’s producing adult mosquitoes,” city entomologist Taz Stuart said Thursday at St. Vital Park, confirming the malathion operation will begin Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

“I can’t see us not doing the entire city,” Stuart said, noting 18 trucks might initially sweep through Winnipeg more than once. “It’s going to take a couple of treatments, most likely, to get it to a more comfortable zone.”

The trucks will spray urban areas of East St. Paul and West St. Paul, as well as the city, nightly between 9:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. As with previous fog operations, the city will announce the districts — or “insect management areas” — to be sprayed ahead of time, providing at least eight hours’ notice.

The trucks will be called off, however, if the temperature dips below 13 C or if the wind becomes too strong to spray the chemical safely.

Warm conditions and extensive standing water produced by rain are creating a skeeter-friendly hatching environment on par with what Winnipeg saw during the summer of 2005 — the city’s most challenging bug season in the past several years.

“I expect to go probably for a week or more, because there will still be hot spots. And the emergence is still occurring,” Stuart said of the fog attack, noting the insects are becoming adults in 10 to 14 days.

While fogging begins, the city’s larviciding and “residual” treatments of targeted park areas will continue.

The insect control branch will keep malathion out of 100-metre “buffer zones” requested by individual residents.

Information on the protection zones and other related matters is online at winnipeg.ca/bugline and available by calling 311.

City bug boss Taz Stuart displayed some of the mosquitoes wreaking havoc around Winnipeg at a St. Vital Park press conference Thursday, June 18, 2010. The city is set to start fogging with malathion to reduce the skeeter population on Saturday, if weather allows. (ROSS ROMANIUK/Winnipeg Sun)
Buy This Photo from Sun Media

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipe ... 33131.html

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Wed Jun 23, 2010

Winnipeg Sun

Katz officially enters race, slams Judy's 'NDP machine'

Sam Katz is officially in the race to retain the Winnipeg mayoralty for at least another four years.

Katz registered Tuesday morning at city hall for the next municipal general election to be held Oct. 27, confirming his intention to run against challenger and former NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis. When besieged by reporters asking questions after he signed up, the incumbent refused to reveal specific plans or policies of his developing campaign.

He did, however, point out Wasylycia-Leis whom he called a "career politician" is likely to receive significant organizational help from NDP members and supporters during the run-up to voting day.

"This election is going to be extremely different than any other election you've seen at the civic level," said Katz, whose registration came six years to the day after he initially was elected.

"Party politics are part of the picture. You have one party that's basically nominating candidates ... You have political machinery, which is very good and very powerful. It's going to be a very different election."

Though Katz has long had Conservative party-connected people working for him at city hall, he denied any firm link to the Tories.

"Sam Katz doesn't have a party except on my birthday," he said. "And maybe next time, we'll invite you."

Wasylycia-Leis is so far the only other prominent candidate in the mayoral race, after stepping down this past spring from her House of Commons seat representing the Winnipeg North riding a seat she had held since 1997.

"I look forward to the challenge and the race," she said, adding her campaign has support from members of various political parties.

"He's focused on conspiracy theories and the bogeyman," Wasylycia-Leis said of Katz. "I'm focused on city hall and building a better future, and to make city hall work more effectively."

Katz is vying for his second full term in office, after winning a byelection for the city's top job in June 2004 and being re-elected in October 2006.

Pointing at what he suggested is his success in office, Katz cited "great things happening" such as construction of a stadium for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, buildings under development downtown and a major commercial project with an Ikea store in the works.

Katz said if he wins in the fall, he expects to serve only one more term.

ross.romaniuk@sunmedia.ca

http://ca.topmodel.yahoo.com/s/winsun/1 ... dp_machine

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May 7, 2010

Winnipeg Free Press

New skeeters found in city
Previously unseen species bears disease

By: Bartley Kives

A black-tailed mosquito that feeds on birds and carries a potentially lethal strain of encephalitis is the second new mosquito species found in Winnipeg in the past three years.

Culiseta melanura, a mosquito never before seen north of Minneapolis, was trapped in Winnipeg in 2008 and positively identified the following year by Mahmood Iranpour, an entomologist at the National Microbiology Laboratory.

Let the bug battle begin

THE City of Winnipeg has fired up its bug-battling machinery for the summer, starting with a larviciding program aimed at reducing nuisance-mosquito numbers this spring.

Insect-control crews have been applying a cocktail of larvicides to standing water on public property in and around the city since April 26, city entomologist Taz Stuart told reporters Thursday. Ground crews and helicopters have 33,000 hectares to cover.

Right now, cool temperatures are slowing mosquito larvae development. But recent rains have provided a nice, moist environment for mosquitoes to mature once the weather improves, Stuart said.

Right now, the average trap count in the city is zero. Any large mosquitoes in the city are overwintering adults hatched in 2009, he said.

As usual, the city urges homeowners to dump standing water on private property to eliminate mosquito development sites.

Stuart also says cankerworm larvae are beginning to hatch and will soon begin chowing down on hardwood leaves.

-- Kives

Also in 2008, city entomologist Taz Stuart confirmed the presence of a small, blue mosquito called Uranotaenia sapphirina, which carries West Nile virus but predominantly feeds on frogs and toads.

Prior to that, no new mosquito species have been found in Winnipeg since the 1940s. Iranpour and Stuart are now trying to figure out if the new skeeters are here to stay -- or are just visiting.

"There needs to be more investigation to see if it will be established," Iranpour said of C. melanura, which he found only in small numbers.

But its confirmed presence brings the number of mosquito species known to inhabit Winnipeg up to 40 and the number in Manitoba up to 50 overall.

Unlike U. sapphirina, which is not considered much of a threat to human beings, C. melanura has been monitored closely in the United States because it is known to carry eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, a disease that kills roughly 35 per cent of the people who contract it.

C. melanura hangs around in tree canopies and feeds almost entirely on birds. It only poses a threat to people because EEE-infected birds can be bitten by "bridge vector" mosquito species that also bite human beings.

In Winnipeg, Culex tarsalis -- the main culprit in the transmission of West Nile virus -- could serve as a vector mosquito, said Stuart. But the presence of eastern equine encephalitis in Winnipeg is entirely theoretical at this point.

Manitoba has had cases of western equine encephalitis before, but not since 1983, Stuart said.

The movement of dangerous or destructive insects is a hot topic for environmental scientists, as the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle -- both invasive species from China -- lay waste to North American hardwoods.

The widening range of insect species indigenous to North America is also seen as a possible result of climate change.

Taz Stuart, City of Winnipeg entomologist at his first press conference of the season Thursday, with a spraying helicopter behind him.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/ ... 53584.html

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Katz, Steeves want action to strengthen battle on bugs

Postby adminjt » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:29 pm

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Warning Industry Propaganda Below
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23/06/2010

Winnipeg Free Press

City leaders itching for change
Katz, Steeves want action to strengthen battle on bugs

By: Bartley Kives

Amid the buzz of a civic election campaign, two of Winnipeg's most powerful politicians hope to change the way the city fogs for mosquitoes.

This morning, Mayor Sam Katz will introduce a motion to overhaul the city's mosquito-control program in order to speed up the time it takes to begin fogging after an emergence of adult nuisance mosquitoes.

St. Vital Coun. Gord Steeves, meanwhile, has authored a motion to re-examine the practice of placing buffer zones around homes where residents oppose the dispersal of pesticides.

Both motions, which are bound for council in some form today, are likely to prove popular among a bug-weary populace.

But they're also being met with skepticism at city hall.

The mayor's motion, whose precise wording was kept under wraps on Tuesday, will involve a request to re-examine the city's entire fogging policy. Right now, several conditions must be met before trucks can begin spraying public and private property with the pesticide malathion to control mosquito species not believed to transmit diseases to people.

Before fogging trucks can hit the streets, the city must have average trap counts above 25 insects for three days straight, one quadrant of the city must have a trap count of more than 100 mosquitoes and 48 hours notice must be given to the public.

"By that time, you know what the mosquito trap counts are? In the hundreds and thousands," said Katz, surmising there must be a way to speed up the process and stop Winnipeggers from "being held hostage" inside their homes.

The mayor's motion is not aimed at affecting the mandatory fogging ordered by the province when Manitoba Health determines the threat of West Nile virus demands the use of pesticides.

Steeves, meanwhile, wants to re-examine what he calls an "extremely volatile, divisive and misunderstood" buffer-zone policy that causes conflict between neighbours. He also believes buffer zones that extend 100 metres from any home are excessive and may not be what the provincial Clean Environment Commission ordered in 1982.

"Has it always been contemplated it would be 100 metres on each side of the property or was it 100 metres total? Have there been any technological changes that could allow us to be more specific?" he asked.

"My sense is we should be able to apply a chemical in an envelope that could suitably protect somebody in a much smaller bubble than that."

Steeves' motion will come before council today but will be referred automatically to its protection and community services committee in July. Katz's motion will first come to a special meeting of executive policy committee this morning and then move over to council.

Fort Rouge Coun. Jenny Gerbasi, a vocal opponent of pesticide use, said she welcomes a re-examination of fogging policy but hopes it will involve a move away from malathion toward permethrin or some other less contentious pesticide.

Katz said he already expects to see a report about phasing out malathion.

"Malathion will be a thing of the past in the very near future," he said.

But the city has been putting off replacing malathion with more expensive biological alternatives. According to city budget documents, the insect control branch intended to spend almost $4 million this year to make the transition, but the move has been put off until 2011.

"There are more progressive policies this council doesn't want to spend money on because we are focused on tax cuts," Gerbasi charged.

Mayoral challenger Judy Wasylycia-Leis, meanwhile, ridiculed Katz.

"Wasn't this the same guy who said he was going to get rid of mosquitoes when he ran for mayor the first time?" she asked. "Six years later, we have a more serious problem than ever before and instead of having a balanced response to people's concerns, we have neighbours fighting neighbours."

Steeves' motion also came under fire. North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty said the St. Vital councillor had no interest in addressing mosquito fogging when a Steeves-led community services committee ignored a 2008 request by East Kildonan-Transcona councillors to re-examine buffer zones. Browaty said he wanted to eliminate the zones entirely.

The city denied a request to interview city entomologist Taz Stuart for this story.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 23, 2010 A3

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/ ... 58624.html

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CBC News

Mosquito fogging buffer zone questioned

The City of Winnipeg's policy of allowing a buffer zone when fogging for mosquitoes in Winnipeg is coming under question.

St. Vital Coun. Gord Steeves intends to present a motion at a council meeting Wednesday to review the practice and see if it should be eliminated or the size of the buffer zone reduced.

Mayor Sam Katz has also said he intends to bring forth a motion at the executive police committee (EPC), which also meets Wednesday, to discuss whether any other Canadian cities use buffer zones, and if so, how large a buffer is used.

Currently, residents can ask to have their properties put on a no-spray list, meaning city crews will turn off the malathion fogging machine for a 100-metre zone around their land.

That has raised the ire of many residents who have contacted their councillors to complain because they have been denied relief from the biting insects, whose numbers have exploded.

In the past week, the mosquito count in city-monitored traps soared from dozens to hundreds — and even more in some areas.

A City of Winnipeg truck fogs a street with malathion.A City of Winnipeg truck fogs a street with malathion. (CBC)More than 1,000 mosquitoes were found in traps in Kildonan Park and Assiniboine Park.

"There is a lot of tension in the community and a lot of constituent contact to councillors' offices," Steeves stated in a release sent to media.

In the context of an actual city block, a 100-metre buffer zone "can mean a non-application area of as many as 32 to 40 houses," Steeves noted, adding "a buffer zone in a community is extremely volatile, divisive and misunderstood."

The use of such a zone only encourages neighbouring residents to rely on private application of potentially more harmful pesticides, states the motion he plans to present to council.
Stores selling out

Winnipeggers are already clearing store shelves of chemicals and backyard fogging machines to deal with the mosquito problem themselves.

Several types of residential foggers sell for less than $100 and use the chemical insecticide Propoxur, which is also used against flies in agricultural settings, to control fleas and ticks on pets, and as an acaricide on lawns and turf for ants.

Zara Davies at the McDiarmid Lumber store in St. Vital said the spike in mosquitoes during the past few days has had a huge impact on sales.

"In the first couple of weeks of the summer there was no interest whatsoever," she said. "Now that they've sort of hit, we're completely sold out."

The store will be getting more foggers in the next few days, she said.

Several other stores contacted by CBC News were also sold out of the devices.

Meanwhile, city crews will be fogging Tuesday night in the south part of Winnipeg, including sections of St. Vital and Southdale, St. Norbert and parts of Fort Garry, as well as areas in the north, including River East, Tyndall Park, Old Kildonan and West Kildonan.

The city's fogging schedule is available by clicking the link on the top right of this page.

Mosquitoes caught in city traps are studied in a lab to determine the presence of Culex tarsalis, which is the type that can carry and transmit the West Nile virus.Mosquitoes caught in city traps are studied in a lab to determine the presence of Culex tarsalis, which is the type that can carry and transmit the West Nile virus. (CBC)

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story ... z0rfV4JXmL

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June 22, 2010

Global TV

Battle over buffer zones

Winnipeg’s bug battle is heating up, and it’s not just mosquitoes being targeted.

A city councillor wants to review the controversial policy of offering a 100 meter “buffer zone” around homeowners who do not want their property sprayed with the insecticide, suggesting the practice is sparking conflict between mosquito-bitten residents and neighbours who are keeping the fogging trucks away.

St Vital Councillor Gord Steeves says “the instigating of a buffer zone in a community is extremely volatile, divisive and misunderstood” in a proposed motion to be put before city council Wednesday.

The motion calls for city staff to review the 100 meter policy, which it says dates back to a study done in 1982 and may not reflect the fact that 32 – 40 homes could be denied protection from mosquitoes if one homeowner applies for a buffer zone. Currently, the buffer zones can only be ignored if provincial officials declare a public health emergency – for instance, if it is determined there is a high risk of being bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile virus. Currently, that is not the case.

Steeves’ motion also suggests “the size of the buffer zones, as they currently exist, could result in more and more private application of pesticides.”

City officials have already suggested the conditions are ripe for one of the worst mosquito invasions in recent memory, and crews have already been out fogging city neighbourhoods trying to kill off as many of the bugs as possible and give tormented Winnipegers some relief from the blood suckers plaguing backyards, parks and sports fields across the city. But some 1100 homeowners have applied for the 100 meter buffer zones – which according the figures in Steeves’ motion could mean tens of thousands of Winnipeg homes not treated to the mosquito-killing spray.

Too many mosquitos are escaping fogging, according to a Winnipeg city councillor who wants to review the 100 meter buffer zone policy
Photo Credit: file, Global TV

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