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Few mosquitoes thanks to cool spring

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The cold, dry spring means mosquito activity is low so far in Winnipeg, but insect-control crews are still out applying larvicides to standing water in and around the city.

The city began applying the biological larvicide bti, or bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, to bodies of standing water on May 1, said city entomologist Taz Stuart.

Many wet areas are still cold and too deep for mosquito larvae to emerge and will be treated later this spring, he said.

So far, mosquito development is slow and no significant emergence of adults is expected for at least a few weeks. A small number of overwintering adults are flying around, but the average trap count is zero.

Warmer temperatures and rain would change the mosquito outlook. The city has not had a bad mosquito year since 2010, the last year fogging took place.

If trap counts soar this summer, the city will test out a new biological fogging agent called pyrocide in one quadrant of Winnipeg. The other three quadrants will be fogged with the chemical malathion.

The city will then test the effectiveness of the two substances, in the hopes the biological agent - derived from plants - is just as effective as the chemical, if not more.

Anyone wishing to apply for a pesticide-free buffer zone around their home is encouraged to do so now by contacting 311@winnipeg.ca, visiting the Insect Control Branch in person at 1539 Waverley St. Or writing to the branch at 3 Grey St., R2L 1V2.

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